Back in the day when I started learning the guitar, finding a good starter acoustic guitar for under $200 was nearly impossible. Luckily for you, competition between guitar manufacturers has made this a reality. As a guitar teacher, I’m always on the look for the best budget guitars for my students. One thing that I’ve learned throughout the years is that students often go for a combination of good looks and value. For this reason I like recommending different models based on the student’s musical preferences.
5 Great Steel String Acoustic Guitars Under $200: (in no particular order)
These are 5 top selling acoustic guitars you can find locally or online. If you think other models should be included here or have any questions, please post your comments below or on our new forum section. For a description of the different guitar body styles available, check out the chart at the bottom of the page. I also have a list of Electric Guitars Under $200.
Yamaha FG700S Folk Acoustic Guitar
This Yamaha is a great entry level acoustic guitar and an excellent choice for beginners. Yamaha has been making musical instruments since the late 1800’s and their acoustic guitars are known for their quality and price. I always recommend them to my students. Yamaha states that the FG series is the number 1 sold acoustic guitar of all time.
Fender CD-140S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
Known for their electric guitar and amps, Fender also makes quality entry level acoustic guitars. With a traditional dreadnought body style, this model is available in natural, mahogany, sunburst, and white color. The all mahogany model (pictured below) looks amazing.
Epiphone AJ-220S Acoustic Guitar
This Epiphone guitar features a jumbo guitar shape, this means it has a bigger body which translates into a louder and more resonant instrument. The jumbo design is often considered the standard “cowboy” guitar. Available in natural and vintage sunburst color. Epiphone is Gibson’s entry level, more affordable brand.
Ibanez V70CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
This is a full size dreadnought acoustic-electric guitar with a single “soft” cutaway and active electronics. This means you can hook it up to an amplifier. Rock On! A cutaway will let you reach the higher frets on the guitar neck. For an electro-acoustic, it offers a great value. I can’t tell you how many times my students have a asked for an acoustic-electric guitar, so here’s an option for you as well. Available in transparent blue burst or black.
Wahsburn Festival Series EA12 Acoustic Guitar
This is another acoustic-electric guitar. The Washburn EA12 is a mini jumbo guitar with a single cutaway, built-in tuner and a 4-Band EQ. Washburn’s Festival Series guitars were standard on MTV’s “Unplugged” sessions and have been best-sellers ever since. This guitar comes ready with a 1/4 inch output for your amp and XLR output for your PA or mixer. It’s also available in red.
Guitar Body Styles in a Nutshell
- Parlor: the smallest acoustic guitar body size, good for fingerpicking.
- Classical: smaller than the traditional steel string acoustic, it is used in classical and latin music. It has nylon strings (as opposed to steel strings).
- Concert: a bridge between a parlor and larger guitars, they have a bright sound with a punchy mid-range.
- Auditorium: a mid-sized acoustic guitar, produces a great balance between volume, tonal balance and playing comfort.
- Dreadnought: the most popular acoustic shape, uses a very large soundboard.
- Jumbo: bigger body, they are louder, more resonant and boomy.
- Travel/Mini/Student: usually built for smaller players and/or for traveling.
Luke Barlow says
I am learning on the acoustic and it’s much easier on my fingertips. Of course, the neck is wider so that makes it harder to learn the fingering. There are trade offs in both.
Debojyoti Pal says
What about fender CP-100 and recording king rph-05???……
Thanks for your comment. Those are two parlor models under $200 that are getting great reviews online. I haven’t personally tried them, but was considering purchasing the “Recording King RPH-05” at some point. If you’re looking for a smaller size guitar, the “Fender CP-100” and “Recording King RPH-05” are definitely worth checking out.