Best Acoustic Guitars under $1500 in 2018
Many guitar players on their way to becoming pro look for the best acoustic guitar under $1500. Guitars in this price tier are a step up from most beginner and intermediate guitars because they’re made from better-quality materials and electronics. We have selected the best of the bunch to help you choose which acoustic guitar in the $1000-$1500 range fits your playing style and meets your personal preferences the most. We’ve kept our selection to models made by trusted brands so you can rest assured that whichever one you pick, you’ll end up with a winner. Let’s get started!
Our Top Acoustic Guitars under $1500
|Taylor 214CE Deluxe Grand||Of course there’s a Taylor in the mix as well! The 214ce DLX Grand Auditorium acoustic-electric guitar is definitely one of the best acoustic models you can have for less than $1500. It’s got a solid Sitka spruce top, giving the guitar a broad dynamic range that’s just right for a variety of playing styles.|
|Martin 000-15M||A ‘best guitars list’ would be incomplete without a Martin, and for this we have chosen the Martin 000-15M. A member of the 15 Series of acoustic guitars, this model features an auditorium body size and an all-solid mahogany wood construction. As expected of a mahogany Martin, the 000-15M delivers a clear, articulate and balanced tone that’s close to perfect.|
|Takamine P3NY||The Takamine Pro Series P3NY “New Yorker” parlor-style acoustic-electric guitar. It may be small, but it boasts a full-bodied voice and clear, sweet tone thanks to its superior construction, hand-scalloped X-bracing and solid build. It’s a wonderfully comfortable guitar to play too!|
|Takamine EF341SC||Another Takamine model in our list is the EF341SC, an acoustic-electric dreadnought with a cutaway. This guitar sports a striking gloss black finish and features a solid cedar top with laminated maple back and sides. The Takamine EF341SC is part of the company’s Keystone Series and is a great all-around guitar. It’s really well-made and worth the investment.|
|Seagull Artist Mosaic||Rounding up our list of the best acoustic guitar models under $1500 is the Seagull Artist Mosaic. We’re looking at the acoustic-electric version of this model, which features L.R. Baggs Element electronics. With a solid cedar top and solid mahogany sides and back, the Artist Mosaic Element produces a warm and sweet sound loved the world over.|
If you’re looking for the best Taylor acoustic guitar priced below $1500, the Taylor 214CE Deluxe Grand Auditorium guitar is your best bet. This guitar features a top made from solid Sitka spruce for a broad dynamic range. It also has layered rosewood back and sides, an ebony fretboard, Italian acrylic Small Diamond fretboard inlays and a Venetian cutaway. This all-purpose acoustic is a great choice for when you’re ready to step up to a pro-level instrument or when you’re needing a guitar you can take along with you anywhere.
The use of layered rosewood in the 214CE DLX not only makes it more affordable but resilient as well. Though the sound the guitar produces isn’t as complex as that produced by a solid-wood guitar, the construction makes the guitar more resilient to changes in temperature and humidity. And because the layered wood is paired with a solid top, the tonal response is so clear and balanced, you won’t even notice the difference!
The body of the Taylor 214CE Deluxe is given a nice gloss finish, while the neck has a satin finish for a great playing feel. The guitar is equipped with an Expression System 2 electronics with volume, bass and treble controls. All in all it’s a fun guitar to play.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Martin 000-15M acoustic guitar is its bold, solid look. Nothing flashy or unnecessarily shiny, and many people like it that way. This guitar is made of solid mahogany – the top, back and sides as well as the neck are all mahogany. This makes the guitar highly durable and stable construction-wise, and rich and warm sound-wise.
The fingerboard on the Martin 000-15M is made of East Indian rosewood, adding to playability and warmth. The guitar has been given a rich satin finish. We’re loving the overall look – playing the guitar looks like holding a delicious and massive guitar-shaped chocolate bar in your hands.
This Martin acoustic guitar also has an East Indian rosewood bridge, ebony bridge pins, abalone fingerboard inlays, nickel open-geared tuners with butterbean knobs, faux tortoise pickguard, compensated bone saddle and bone nut. The guitar keeps in tune for a long time, so you won’t need to fiddle with the tuning machines after every few minutes of playing.
The Martin 000-15M produces a warm and mellow sound with an expressive low end, yet bright and clear enough for a variety of genres and playing styles.
Takamine started as a family-run instrument workshop in Japan in the late Fifties until it became the world-renowned brand it is today.
Takamine is one of the first guitar makers to introduce acoustic-electric models into the guitar-playing market. The company actually pioneered the design of the preamp-equalizer in acoustic guitars. The Takamine P3NY, with its CT4B II preamp system with three-band EQ, volume control and built-in chromatic tuner is one of the latest in a long line of electro-acoustics from the company.
The Takamine Pro Series P3NY is a parlor-style acoustic guitar in a New Yorker body shape. The New Yorker is Takamine’s smallest full-scale guitar and it’s extremely comfortable to play whether you’re standing or in a seated position. New Yorker-bodied guitars like the P3NY have a sweet, clear tone with an impressive frequency range that makes the acoustic sound stand out.
The Takamine P3NY features a solid cedar top and a solid sapele back. The sides are made of sapele as well, while the neck is made of mahogany. The fingerboard is made from rosewood and features dot-in-dot inlays. Gold tuners with amber buttons and a nice satin finish give the guitar a more premium look.
The Takamine EF341SC dreadnought is also one of the best guitar models you can get for under $1500. There are a number of things that make it awesome, from the materials used to the onboard electronics.
The Takamine EF341SC has a solid cedar top, mahogany neck, laminated maple back and sides, rosewood fingerboard and chrome tuners. Designed for the stage, we can easily see why music artists like Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen consider this as a favorite during live performances. This model not only has a great tone, it’s extremely playable too, especially with its cutaway that allows access to the upper frets. Not only that, it looks superb under the stage lights with its stunning gloss black finish.
The Takamine EF341SC’s stage-readiness is also brought to you by its CT4B II preamp system, which also features a built-in tuner, volume control slider and three-band equalizer (low, mid, high). The preamp system is easy to use and is excellent at delivering a naturally amplified acoustic sound.
The Takamine EF341SC sounds fantastic plugged and unplugged and is guaranteed to serve you well on and off the stage.
There’s a standard model of the Seagull Artist Mosaic and the Element model, which comes included with an L.R. Baggs Element electronic system. The two models are generally the same with the exception of the electronics of course, so it’s up to you whether to choose the all-acoustic one or the one with the pickup.
For this review, we’re taking a look at the acoustic-electric model. This Seagull dreadnought features a solid cedar top, solid mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard with seagull-shaped inlays and a Custom Polished semi-gloss finish that enhances the look of the wood grain and the sound the guitar makes.
The combination of the tonewoods used in the guitar gives it a warm, mellow and sweet tone that gets better as the solid wood top opens up. The more the Artist Mosaic is played, the better it sounds. And even when unplugged, the guitar produces lots of volume and projection.
And if you need more, you only need to use the onboard preamp, which is mounted on the soundhole and comes with volume and tone controls.
- A great solid-wood guitar at an accessible price point
- Element model comes with a built-in pickup-preamp system
- Impressive build and sound quality
- No built-in tuner
- Headstock looks too small and out of proportion to the rest of the body
Our tips on buying the best acoustic guitar for under $1500
If you’re looking for an acoustic guitar priced below $1500, it means you’re serious about playing the guitar but are not too keen about spending too much on a professional-quality instrument just yet. At this point in your career you’re probably still developing your own voice and playing styles, which is why versatility in a guitar is important to you.
Versatility is one thing you will surely have with any of the guitars on this list, which we have carefully chosen to fit the needs of most guitar players with a $1500 budget.
And if you are a beginner who’s been saving up for years to have a great acoustic guitar right from the start, any one of these models will serve you well for years, right up to when you feel you’re ready for a more high-end professional guitar.
Let’s do a quick roundup of the guitars in this list of models under $1500 and highlight their best qualities that set them apart from all the rest. All of these models win in terms of tone and playability, so whichever one you choose, you’re sure to have the very best.
Taylor 214CE Deluxe Grand Auditorium
This Grand Auditorium guitar boasts a solid Sitka spruce top. To bring the price of the Taylor 214CE Deluxe down, Taylor used layered rosewood for the guitar’s back and sides. The sound quality isn’t compromised however, and also the use of layered wood makes the guitar less susceptible to changes in the weather. This guitar is also fitted with the Expression System 2 preamp, so you can just plug it in when you need to.
Two words: solid mahogany. The Martin 000-15M is a favorite not only because of its minimalistic, no-nonsense look but also because of the way it sounds – warm and rich, with a solid, balanced and punchy tone. Many guitarists are after that woody sound, something that this Martin delivers perfectly. No electronics included in this one, which means you’ll have to use external mics or other aftermarket amplification options.
A parlor-style guitar with electronics included. This is one of the smallest full-scale guitars offered by Takamine and features a solid cedar soundboard and solid sapele back. Equipped with a CT4B II preamp system with everything you’ll ever need: a tuner, volume control slider and three-band EQ to let you tweak the sound output according to your preferences.
A dreadnought with a cutaway and again, the easy-to-use CT4B II preamp. Like the Takamine P3NY, this boasts a solid cedar top, but it has laminated maple back and sides to make it withstand changes in humidity and temperature, making it a great traveling and gigging companion. The Takamine EF341SC is a superb stage guitar that’s favored by a lot of performing artists, including Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen.
Seagull Artist Mosaic
The Seagull Artist Mosaic dreadnought has a solid cedar top and solid mahogany back and sides. This is a guitar that can definitely compete with premium models from bigger brands because of its quality construction and sound. The acoustic-electric version of this guitar has the L.R. Baggs Element electronic system.
So, which acoustic guitar model are you most interested in? Is it the one with an all-solid wood construction or do you prefer one with a combination of solid and layered wood? It would all depend on your purpose and personal preferences, of course.
Are you planning to play this guitar on the stage, on the road or just at home? What kind of tone do you want your guitar to have? Warm and mellow, or something brighter? Each of the guitars in this list has its own unique tonal characteristic because of its construction, so take that into consideration when you’re making your final decision.