As a guitar analyst constantly exploring the market’s budget-friendly options, I’m always on the lookout for quality acoustic guitars available at affordable prices. You can find fantastic beginner and intermediate-level acoustic guitars priced under $200 if you know which models to look for. In this article, I’ll highlight my top 10 best acoustic guitars under $200, outlining their key features, pros, and cons.
I evaluated over 50 guitars under $200 to narrow down the 10 models that provide the best value based on my expertise in assessing construction quality, wood materials, sound projection, playability, and manufacturer reputation. I’ll explain what guitar needs each recommended model suits best so you can determine which is the right fit for your playing level, musical interests, and budget.
Whether you’re a complete beginner looking for your first guitar, a budding student needing a backup instrument, or a gigging musician seeking a solid porch picker, these 10 modern bargains deliver quality and musical inspiration while being easy on the wallet.
Top 10 Acoustic Guitars Under $200
The Yamaha FG800 nails the perfect balance of playability and rich sound, especially considering its ultra-budget-friendly price tag. Its solid Sitka spruce top and nato/okume back and sides produce a balanced, bright tone and impressive volume that belie its smaller concert-style body. The slim neck and rosewood fingerboard facilitate smooth playability, with no sharp fret ends. If you want a superb starter guitar to learn on or an affordable second guitar for travel and practice, the FG800 is hard to beat on value and reliability.
Ibanez IJV50 Acoustic Guitar
Ibanez brings its decades of guitar manufacturing experience spanning many genres into the realm of affordably priced acoustics with the full-sized IJV50 dreadnought model. Constructed using a spruce top, mahogany back and sides, along with a rosewood bridge and chrome diecast tuners, – tonal characteristics exude warmth and articulation well beyond its low price tag. The slim neck and smaller body depth cater to comfort and playability, while a striking transparent blue burst finish immediately catches eyes. Consider the flexible, rich-sounding Ibanez IJV50 an ideal instrument for beginners and intermediate players that want a budget guitar suitable across various musical styles, especially with Ibanez’s reputation for fast-playing electric guitars preceding this quality accompaniment into the world of unplugged instruments.
Jasmine delivers one of the best entry-level acoustic guitar values around with their S34C model, an affordable steel-string guitar packing an unexpectedly resonant solid spruce top and a QUIXC advanced bracing system. The slim neck profile and shorter 25” scale facilitate smooth playability and comfort. While ultra-budget guitars often cut corners, the S34C displays remarkable attention to the construction quality and aesthetics you wouldn’t expect for a guitar south of $100. From sustain and warmth beyond its paygrade to the elegant simplicity of its grand auditorium cutaway shape – the Jasmine S34C punches way above its weight as a fantastic starter instrument.
The Fender CC-60S brings that iconic Fender dreadnought acoustic guitar design into the realm of working musicians or students shopping for their first unplugged axe on a tight budget. The hand-stained gloss finish gives off a rich vibe, punching above its low price point. Constructed with a solid Sitka spruce top and laminated mahogany back and sides, the full-sounding tone offers pleasing bass, lively mids, and clear treble notes. A comfortable neck and strings that won’t shred newbie fingers make this an inviting fit for all player levels, from students to hobbyists who want a basic beater guitar for camping trips that still looks classy enough to pull out at social gatherings when friends pass ‘round the six-string for an impromptu jam session.
If you’re looking for ultra-portability in an acoustic guitar for travel or smaller-framed players, it’s tough to beat the Yamaha FD01S. Weighing under 5 lbs with a folk-sized body and 22-inch scale length, this diminutive dynamo was designed with ultimate comfort and playability as top considerations. The hand-sprayed finish atop a solid spruce top helps generate volume and articulation that belie its miniature dimensions. The matte finish on the neck has a super playable feel for smaller hands. While the Yamaha FD01S makes fewer compromises than most guitars under $150, the smaller body limits its projection and bass response compared to a standard dreadnought, but that’s expected from its intentional portability design geared toward new players and travel.
Epiphone PRO-1 Plus
The Epiphone PRO-1 Plus brings that vintage parlor flavor into an affordable package. Constructed using an all-mahogany body instead of orchestral spruce, this guitar has a focused, midrange-rich voice perfect for driving rhythms and fingerstyle playing. The slim neck gives it a solid feel with comfortable playability. And while the Epiphone badge commands attention from brand cache alone, the PRO-1 Plus over-delivers on constructive build and sound quality, especially for less than $150. The size lands right between a travel-sized mini guitar and a standard acoustic, making this a versatile option for couch noodling, student practice sessions, or camping trips.
Market newcomer Donner may seem like a budget brand focused exclusively on price point, but the DAG-1C hybrid acoustic-electric (sells for well under $100) deserves respect for its legitimate playability. Crafted using maple laminate back and sides with a spruce top, it produces a balanced tone and impressive volume through its fresh take on the dreadnought body shape. Action and playability right out of the box rival intermediate models double the DAG-1C’s paltry asking price. While more experienced players may eventually outgrow this grab-and-go acoustic, beginners and young students will appreciate its forgiving setup and ability to plug into amplifiers for added volume, making it ideal for group jam sessions or practicing with playback tracks.
Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top
If understated elegance speaks to your style, the Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top provides a marvelously deep, growly voice in a classically shaped mahogany parlor body. Designed over a century ago, revived in the 1960s, and then repopularized when rock icons like David Gilmour featured one on early Pink Floyd albums, today’s affordable incarnation of this Gretsch gem makes their signature tone accessible for working musicians on tight budgets. Thanks to its compact, comfortable body and easily playable 24” scale neck, this makes a fantastic guitar for younger students and smaller-statured players looking to start their 6-string journey, even if they eventually move up to a larger dreadnought.
Fender FA-115 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
The FA-115’s fusion of traditional design and contemporary playability demonstrates that Fender, an industry leader known for iconic electric guitars, also holds a strong reputation in the world of acoustics. The laminated spruce top and basswood back and sides generate a balanced tone that’s still articulate and responsive. The 25.3” scale length keeps this full-size dreadnought accessible to novice players. And the Fishman electronics empower amplified tones solid enough for rehearsals and gigs. While the FA-115 makes smart concessions to hit its sub-$200 price, resonance and construction still impress, making this an intuitive fit for new players and a grab-and-go workhorse for busy performing singer-songwriters needing a guitar to rely on both on stage and around the campfire.
Squier by Fender SA-150
As Fender’s affordable import line, Squier offers cost-effective takes on their famous models, including the SA-150, channeling the company’s classic acoustic guitar dreadnought aesthetic at this price point. Although the laminated spruce top and basswood construction represent cost concessions, the balanced tone and playability impress considering the friendly price tag. The slimmer 20-fret neck width also caters to comfort for smaller hands and younger players. While limited on projection compared to Fender’s pricier acoustics, the SA-150 appropriately positions realistic expectations in proportion to its price making this a solid grab-and-go guitar for starting students not ready to commit funds for a premium instrument just yet. Sometimes budget execution aligns artfully with value, and the SA-150 neatly encapsulates Squier’s role, providing “authentic Fender design, quality, and sound at an accessible price” for fledgling musicians getting their start.
The value-added acoustic guitar market continues to expand, with solid instruments catering to first-timers and working musicians alike now available for less than ever before as manufacturing techniques improve. While you can certainly still spot cost-cutting flaws on guitars under $200, this list of my top 10 favorite models confirms decent instruments that overachieve despite their lower price category.
From Fender’s iconic looks to Yamaha’s never-ending playability, brands carrying decades-long reputations for quality now extend their commitment toward budget offerings. Upstarts like Takamine, Jasmine, and Alvarez match those benchmarks, proving today’s sub-$200 segment houses surprisingly impressive options for both acoustic guitar beginners and experienced players seeking a studio companion for layering tracks or a casual couch companion that looks cool but handles the occasional ding or drop during a jam session without tears.
Hopefully, this overview helps you identify the perfect sub-$200 acoustic to suit your budget while still meeting your playing needs and musical tastes as you traverse your guitar journey, seeking inspiration around the next bend. Let me know in the comments if you have any other favorite budget models I should check out for potential inclusion during future updates!