Best Cheap Acoustic Guitar In 2020 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]
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Are you a beginner who’s looking for the best cheap acoustic guitar to satiate your newfound love for strumming? If yes, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve shortlisted 5 models after extensive research, keeping in mind factors like playability, build and sound quality.
So read further to find an ideal guitar that suits your needs and your budget.
|1. Jasmine S35|
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|2. Yamaha FG830|
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|3. Fender FA-100|
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|4. Martin LX1E Little Martin|
|5. Taylor GS Mini|
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Our Best Cheap Acoustic Guitar for 2020 Reviews and Comparisons
1. Jasmine S35
While you might not expect much in terms of tone from a cheap guitar, the Jasmine S35 is a rewarding surprise. Its tone is pretty well balanced and the projection is big and clear. It’s probably not ideal for stage performances, but for both beginners and more experienced guitarists looking for cheap steel strings to strum on, there’s enough tone to work with.
The S35 features an attractive dreadnought body of 25.5″ scale length made from X-braced laminated spruce on the top, coupled with laminated nato back and sides. The neck is also made of nato, with a reasonably smooth rosewood fretboard, 20 frets and simple inlays with Pearloid dots.
At the bottom is a rosewood bridge paired with a saddle along with the synthetic bone and a nut made from the same material. There is a set of chrome-covered sealed tuners at the headstock, which do their job and maintain relatively good tuning.
What We Like About Jasmine S35
Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar is suitable for those who are beginners and want to stay on a budget. It’s light on the pockets with prominent features that make it a perfect choice for beginners, intermediates, and travelers. The sound is good and is user-friendly in build and design.
What We Don’t Like About Jasmine S35
The laminated wood on this guitar makes the sound age with time. So the sound undergoing a change over time as you play should not come as a surprise to you. Also, it requires frequent tuning.
- Suitable for beginners
- Travel friendly
- X-braced laminated spruce on the top
- Requires frequent tuning
- Emitted sound changes with time
The highlight of FG830 is it scalloped bracing that takes the guitar sound to the next level. Having richer and more harmonic overtones, this model gets extra points when compared to other entry-level guitars.
The FG830 is a part of the FG800 series of guitars. The guitars that are part of this series, especially in the middle and low ranges, are renowned for having a much more powerful and strong sound. When it comes to building quality, Yamaha prides itself on its high standards and the FG830 doesn’t disappoint. It has a solid Sitka spruce top, and the twenty-fret fingerboard, bridge, back, and sides are made of rosewood.
The rosewood really enhances sustain, something which is often missing in the same price range on other guitars. The sound is rich and it seems as if it comes from a guitar which is much more expensive.
What We Like About Yamaha FG830
The slim neck of the guitar makes it easy to play and handle, especially by beginners. Not only does it have an aesthetic look, but it also sounds great. It is versatile and can be used to play multiple genres of music.
What We Don’t Like About Yamaha FG830
When it comes to the drawbacks of this guitar, its saddle, nut, and bridge pins are all made from plastic. Also, it requires a set-up which can be time-consuming.
- Slim neck for easy playability
- Rosewood enhances sustain
- Versatile for playing multiple genres
- Saddle, nut, and bridge pins made from plastic and not durable
- Requires a set-up
- Protective Fender black nylon gig bag included.
- Keep this acoustic in proper playing position with the included Fender strap when standing or sitting from the factory installed forward facing strap button and rear strap button.
- Under the natural glossy Basswood top, the time tested quartersawn X bracing adds to the distinct FA 100’s projection and top stability.
- Enjoy optimal playability through any season from the hex adjustable truss rod in the neck that will counteract the string tension from the 12-52 gauge Fender Duratone strings (hex/allen truss rod wrench included).
- Enjoy additional peace of mind due to Fender’s limited lifetime warranty that is included with purchase.
Fender is a great name in the guitar making industry. They’ve been around since the late 1930s and although their roots are in the electric guitar, they’ve been in the acoustic guitar business for decades.
It gives full and vibrant tones and is suitable for strumming and delicate styles of fingerpicking. It is a wise choice for any beginner as it comes as a bundle starter kit with a bunch of handy accessories.
If you pick up the FenderFA-100 you’ll notice it’s a full-size guitar right away–which is a great option even for young players to start from. The Fender FA-100 is built with a Spruce laminate top (which is typical of almost every acoustic guitar) and Basswood back and sides.
Overall, the sound you’ll get from the Fender FA-100 acoustic guitar should be satisfying enough for anyone who has never played the guitar before. You should be able to press your fingers down to the fretboard quite easily when you’re playing the FA-100 beginner acoustic.
This is the “playability” and it’s actually not that bad for an entry-level guitar. The closer the strings are to the fretboard, the easier it becomes to play.
The top comes with effective x bracing and body binding. Along with a c-shaped neck, the guitar has the signature Fender head-stock shape and pick-guard. It has a smooth rosewood fingerboard with pearl dots which is 20 frets in length. It also has a rosewood bridge with a synthetic bone saddle and chrome hardware.
What We Like About Fender FA-100
The guitar uses the typical Spruce wood at the lower price end, as a laminated spruce top, since not many tonewoods offer such a good dynamic response. It’s great for a wide range of styles of playing coupled with a bright resonance as a bonus.
What We Don’t Like About Fender FA-100
While the good part is that the Fender FA-100 strings are close to the fret – its flaw is that some buyers have complained that they also get an occasional buzz (which happens when the strings accidentally hit the frets). Users have also faced some durability issues with this guitar.
- Comes as a bundle starter kit with accessories.
- Spruce laminated top for good response and resonance
- Good playability
- Occasional buzzing
- Not highly durable
4. Martin LX1E Little Martin
- While the Little Martin is our smallest guitar, it is very big on tone, quality and versatility.
- Solid Sitka spruce top
- Mahogany high-pressure laminate (HPL) back and sides
- Warm satin finish
- Ideal for travel, student practice or for just playing around the house or campfire.
The Little Martin does feel a bit industrial, but we have been captivated by its more conventional spruce-top voice from the very first strum. If you’re a classic Martin fan, you’ll become fond of this guitar with a lovely crisp-edged voice.
This one has a conventionally braced back with less decoration, no position markers on the face of the fingerboard and a single five-band rosette. However, despite its small size, this model manages to sound really good and has a special air about it.
With a pre-amp combo system along with the Fishman Isys T, this guitar features built-in tone shaping, volume control, and phase control. This gives you a whole new level of sound customization.
This guitar is small, but it’s not the smallest guitar on the market. Due to its size, it is a great option for people who are always on the move, young players and those with small hands.
What We Like About Martin LX1E Little Martin
Martin used Sitka spruce as they do in most of their guitars (this feature also looks nice on electric guitars). This material allows the guitars to sound brighter and more dynamic. Martin LX1e is the right choice if you need a guitar that has the best of both worlds (small size and stunning sound).
What We Don’t Like About Martin LX1E Little Martin
The tones from this guitar might sound too conventional for some people. Also, its sound isn’t wide enough.
- Highly portable and good for musicians who travel often
- Built-in tone shaping, volume control, and phase control
- Spruce top for bright and dynamic sounds
- Tone too conventional for some users
- Nature of the sound isn’t wide enough
5. Taylor GS Mini
- "Body Body type: Taylor Grand Symphony Mini Cutaway: No Top wood: Solid Mahogany Back & sides: Layered Sapele Bracing pattern: GS Mini With Relief Rout Body finish: Matte 2.0 Orientation: Right-handed Neck Neck shape: Taylor GS Mini Profile Nut width: 1-11/16"" (42.8mm) Fingerboard: Genuine African Ebony Neck wood: Sapele Scale length: 23-1/2"" Number of frets: 20 Neck finish: Matte 2.0 Electronics"
- "There's something undeniably inviting about the Taylor GS Mini's scaled-down size, yet a single strum reveals the impressive voice of a full-size guitar
- That mix of portability and musicality has proven to be a winning combination that fits into so many scenarios in life, from the couch to the campfire to the concert hall
- It's not too big, it's not too precious, and it's not too expensive
- That broad-based accessibility has given it a resounding universal appeal, not to mention a built-in fun factor
GS Mini doesn’t resemble a ‘travel guitar.’ Also, the construction is flawless. The body is small enough at 143/8 inches wide to make it comfortable to play even when sitting down yet substantial enough that the player will not slouch over it.
The plain woods— caramel-colored Sapele for the back and sides, solid Sitka spruce for the top— and satin finish give it a simple look. Its three-ring rosette and three-layer purfling give it the credibility of a higher-priced instrument.
Strummed softly or with a medium attack, the Mini produces a warm, clear tone that slightly favors the midrange but with rich bass and bright trebles. The sound begins to break up with an aggressive attack, particularly in the bass, making it better suited for playing solo or in a small group.
The prominent midrange brings a punch to jazz chords which are easy to play up and down the fingerboard, with the comfortable factory setup and neck of the guitar.
What We Like About Taylor GS Mini
It’s a satisfying and fun guitar to strum, fingerpick, or flat pick. Along with this, it has a wide dynamic range, clear tone, long sustain, and an affordable price. Considering all these factors, it would be a great second — or even first — guitar for any player who needs to have a quality instrument always within reach.
What We Don’t Like About Taylor GS Mini
The only problem encountered while using this guitar was its low durability. It needs to be handled with great care.
- Simple looking guitar with the credibility of a higher-priced instrument
- Suited for playing solo or in a small group
- Easy and satisfying playability
- Not highly durable
Taylor GS Mini is the best cheap acoustic guitar according to us. It offers value for money and sounds great during solo performances. Beginners can play this guitar with ease and become their first memorable instrument.
However, there are options to choose from if you’re looking for other specific features or brands. We hope our article was informative and helped you pick a guitar that you’d like to invest in.