If you’re looking for an affordable acoustic guitar that can also be plugged into an amp, you’ve probably noticed that the number of products in this price range is huge. That’s because most guitar players, whether they’re beginners or intermediate, buy guitars in this price range. This may be a small amount of cash, but there are some pretty nice instruments that can be found for this amount of money. That’s why we’ve decided to make this list of the best acoustic-electric guitars under $300.
The problem is in the fact that the market of guitars under $300 is extremely crowded. So, we’ve decided to pick some of the best instruments you can find, to make your choice easier. Before we start with our list of best acoustic-electric guitars under $300, here is a brief explanation of what to expect from guitars in this price range.
What to look at acoustic-electric guitar under $300?
Acoustic-electric guitars in this price range will satisfy most guitar players. Simply, they sound decent, they are quite playable and the electronics are more than okay as well. So, these would be the three main things to look at a guitar in this price range.
When it comes to the sound, you may expect some pretty common tonewood combination. There is no room for some exotic design solutions in this price range, so you will probably get something like a spruce top and mahogany body, though exceptions are possible. In any case, the overall sound quality is usually pretty good among guitars under 300 dollars.
Another very important thing to consider is playability. Of course, pick the body style you prefer, but also pay attention to the neck design and overall playability. The neck shape plays an important role and a good thing to know that things aren’t much different compared to professional-grade guitars in this aspect. On the other side, be sure that even the best acoustic-electric guitars under $300 would require a visit to a luthier for a fine setup.
Given the price range, you shouldn’t expect too much in terms of electronics. Still, this aspect is usually more than decent. The natural sound of a guitar seems far more important. After all, you can always upgrade your electronics.
These would be some of the things you should check when choosing the best acoustic-electric guitars under $300. Some guitars sound better, others feature better playability, or may have better electronics. A good instrument doesn’t necessarily need to be best in some of these things, but rather strong in all fields. This price range is all about all-rounders.
If you want to learn more about acoustic guitars and their characteristics, check our article on the best acoustic guitars under $2000.
Best Acoustic-Electric Guitars Under $300
Other than electronics, things are pretty familiar. You may count on a common combination of spruce top and mahogany back and sides, which is a combination that ensures a quite balanced sound, which is a little bit on the bright side of sound spectrum. The overall fit and finish are more than decent, though we have to say that some competitors are better in this aspect.
The neck is designed pretty well, though you would definitely need to do a fine setup. We like the profile, as it provides excellent comfort while playing. Furthermore, the fingerboard is also good, while the action is quite low as well. Thanks to a classic single-cutaway dreadnought shape, it’s quite easy to reach higher frets. Finally, machine tuners are more than decent and they can keep the guitar in tune for a long time.
- Versatile, great for all styles
- Great sound quality for the price
- Comfortable and playable neck
- Decent electronics
- Some rivals feature better fit and finish
- Stock strings are terrible
This Ibanez is a fantastic value for the money. Besides the very affordable price, it has so many great things to offer, starting from an impressive fit, finish, and overall build quality. Aesthetically, this guitar looks way more expensive and that’s something we really like. Another thing to mention is that there are various color options in the offer.
Aesthetics aren’t the only great thing about this instrument. The reason why it has found the place on our list of best acoustic-electric guitars under $300 is also a more than decent sound. Of course, we are talking about a dreadnought body, which ensures a lot of resonance, while a combination of spruce top and mahogany sides and back ensures a great balance between punch and warmth.
When it comes to electronics, you may count on a pretty good AEQ2T preamp, which comes in a combination with a nice under-the-saddle pickup. It provides pretty natural sound, while the amount of pretty tone tweaking options is pretty decent as well. Finally, you may count on a built-in tuner.
The neck action may seem a little bit too high, but nothing that can’t be solved with a nice setup. On the other side, the neck feels quite comfortable, while a single-cutaway body ensures easy reach of higher frets.
- Amazing build quality for the money
- More than decent sound clarity
- Solid electronics
- Built-in tuner
- High action
Nothing beats Yamaha when it comes to affordable instruments and the amount of quality they give in return. That’s the reason why the APX500III is on our list of best acoustic-electric guitars under $300. The first thing that you will notice on this guitar is an excellent fit and finish. In this aspect, no other guitar comes even close in this price range. Also, we love the fact that it comes in a variety of color options.
Of course, this amazing guitar has several more great things to offer, starting from a pretty exotic body style for this price tag. We are talking about a single-cutaway Thinline layout, which makes it highly comfortable and extremely playable. It’s so easy to get used to the APX500III and that may be one of the reasons for its huge popularity. Also, this is one of the rare guitars on the list that doesn’t require additional setup.
When it comes to sound characteristics, this is a Thinline guitar, so it isn’t particularly loud. Also, the oval sound hole makes slightly more bass than usual. Still, that isn’t a drawback at all, as the sound doesn’t lose any of its clarity. The guitar comes with Yamaha’s excellent System 66 electronics, which provide an impressively wide tonal range, thanks to loads of tweaking options. All in all, it’s impossible to go wrong with this one.
- Impressive build quality
- Attractive Thinline layout
- Comfortable and playable
- Excellent electronics
- Not as loud as other guitars on the list
Want a cheap Ovation guitar? No problem. This is a perfect choice for everyone who can’t afford some of the legendary Balladeer models. With this one, you may count on all of the authentic design solutions and features, including the famous look, feel, and playability.
The recognizable body style includes a nice combination of spruce top and super comfortable lyrachord back, which ensures excellent ergonomics. This is where most of the production costs have been cut, but the overall sound quality is actually pretty decent. You may count on recognizable sharpness in sound that characterized all Balladeer models. On the other side, the combination of nato neck and rosewood fretboard brings a fine balance to the sound, while the action is pretty low.
The hardware is decent, especially in terms of tuning machines, while the rosewood bridge works in perfect synthesis with rosewood fingerboard. When it comes to electronics, this one comes coupled with a CE304T preamp, which features some pretty rudimental controls but actually delivers a pretty natural sound. For lovers of the original Ovation design, this seems like a pretty good choice.
- Authentic Ovation design and features
- Excellent ergonomics
- Comfortable neck
- Rudimental preamp layout
- Not the best fit and finish in the class
Washburn Bella Tono Vite S9V
Of course, the first thing you’ll notice on this guitar is that exotic styling, which helps this Washburn stand out. However, that definitely isn’t the only thing that makes this guitar so good. One of the things we particularly like is the tonewood combination, which is something you won’t find in any other guitar in this price range. While the top is made from spruce, back and sides are made from walnut. Add to this an Okoume neck, and you get a pretty authentic sound, which is transparent and pretty punchy.
The guitar sounds good and looks good, but we also like the ergonomics and overall comfort. This is a pretty typical concert-style guitar, with a single-cutaway that makes everything more convenient. With a modern C profile, the neck is pretty comfortable and easy to play on. The ebony fingerboard provides pretty smooth feel under fingers.
When it comes to electronics, you may count on pretty good Barcus Berry LX preamp. It keeps the sound pretty natural, while controls are quite simple and easy to use. Still, that doesn’t mean limited tweaking options. The tonal range is actually pretty wide in this case. Also, you may count on a built-in tuner.
- Great build quality
- Authentic sound
- Decent electronics
- A fine setup would be required
Acoustic-electric guitars that go slightly under 300 dollars are definitely one of the most crowded segments on the guitar markets. With more than decent overall quality, they are a great choice for beginners, but can also work well for more serious players. The offer is big and these are our picks when it comes to the best acoustic-electric guitars under $300.
All five models are great but if we have to pick one of them, that would be Yamaha APX500III. Simply, the Japanese manufacturer has always been famous for the impressive quality of its low-grade instruments, whether it’s about guitar or some other instrument. The build quality, fit and finish are fantastic, while the sound is pretty solid as well. Also, you may count on excellent electronics and superior ergonomics and playing comforts. This guitar will satisfy serious players with ease.