Although many people see this instrument as quite simple thing, the world of acoustic guitars is actually full of diversities. Today’s market is full of products that are different in so many ways. For customers, that means confusion, especially if they plan to buy a hi-quality instrument and spend some serious amount of money. So, we’ve decided to write a little bit about the best acoustic guitars under $2000.
When buying a guitar in this price range, there is no doubt that you will get a hi-quality instrument for your money. Some models may give more than the others, but in the end, it’s all about preferences. Speaking of preferences, there are several things that may determine your choices, such as playability, sound, and aesthetics.
What to look at when buying a guitar?
As we’ve just mentioned, acoustic guitars are different in so many ways, so there is a lot to learn before you start with making shortlists. Things that should be considered are body type, tonewood, neck design, electronics, etc.
There are several different body types of acoustic guitar, which have a different impact on both sound and ergonomics. Some of the most common types are dreadnought, parlour, jumbo, orchestra, grand orchestra etc. You can find most of them in our list of best acoustic guitars under $2000.
Dreadnought is the most common body shape among acoustic guitars. Named after the British warship, this guitar features a slightly curved body, with shoulders joining the neck at the 14th fret. The size and sound are very balanced, while versatility is the main reason for its popularity.
Parlour is another highly popular body style, characterized by small dimensions. Also, this shape is characterized by more accentuated curves and notably more sloping shoulders. Such layout, combined with compact size, ensures excellent comfort. As the body is smaller, these guitars feature brighter sound, with better clarity but modest low ends.
Jumbo guitars have a large and curved body, which in practice means a lot of bass and impressive volume. On the other side, high frequencies aren’t that impressive. Despite the large dimensions, these guitars feature pretty big curves, so ergonomics and overall playing comfort are actually a big plus.
Orchestra and Grand Orchestra models are on a halfway between dreadnought and parlour guitars. They feature a relatively big body, but they are also curved, which in practice means a great balance in terms of tone. These are probably the most versatile guitars around, suitable for every genre and playing style.
These days, there are so many guitars that feature single or even double-cutaway body. So, if reaching high frets is one of your concerns, check single cut guitars as well.
The wood plays the most important role in the guitar’s sound and as all kinds of wood are used in guitar building, the choice is pretty wide. While back and sides also have a big impact on the sound, most of it actually depends on the top and when it comes to top tonewood, the most common choices are spruce, cedar, mahogany and maple.
Spruce is the most popular choice for guitar tops. The main characteristic is a balanced tone in an impressive frequency range, while dynamics are great a well. Some players would say it lacks character, others see it as the most versatile top wood.
Cedar is a perfect choice for those who prefer fingerpicking. Less sparkle but more character would be the words to describe this wood. Still, this wood doesn’t like to be driven hard, so those who play with a pick should avoid it.
Mahogany won’t give you the best clarity, but you may count on a super warm tone, with impressive mid-range and bass tones.
Maple is completely opposite to mahogany. It offers plenty of brightness, while clarity is impressive. It is the best choice for plugged-in performances.
You can read more about tonewoods here.
When choosing an acoustic guitar, sound plays an important role, as well as the comfort of playing. Therefore, keep in mind that there are all kinds of neck shapes and sizes in the offer these days. Different neck profiles mean different feel when playing, but the bad thing is that you won’t find out which one fits best to your hands until you try all of them.
Besides the neck shape, another thing that plays an important role is nut width. The wider nut means more space between the strings and most acoustic guitars go in a range from 1.61 to 1.85 inches. Although it all about personal preferences, a wider nut is generally a better choice for fingerpicking, while players who prefer strumming and soloing should go in the opposite direction.
These days, you can find all kinds of exotic fingerboard materials, such as walnut, micarta, or maple. However, rosewood and ebony are still the most common fingerboard materials in the world of acoustic guitars.
Rosewood is definitely the best choice if you’re looking for durability. This wood is naturally oily, so it doesn’t require any finish, which in practice means pretty natural feel under your fingers.
On the other side, ebony isn’t as durable as rosewood, but it is far superior in terms of smoothness. When it comes to a feel under the fingers, nothing beats ebony. This wood doesn’t need any finish either, while the sound is crisp and bright.
Another thing to consider is whether you need a pickup or not. It all depends on your plans with the new guitar. If you plan to do a lot of gigs with it, you should get one with good electronics. If you plan to use new guitar mostly for personal enjoyment and studio recordings, a pickup doesn’t seem so necessary. A great thing to know is that you can always get a pickup added later. This leads us to the conclusion that electronics shouldn’t be a deciding factor, rather the unplugged tone of a guitar.
Best Acoustic Guitars Under $2000
Blueridge BR-180 Historic Series
We will start our list of best acoustic guitars under $2000 with a classic dreadnought design. The Blueridge BR-180 is an amazing piece of instrument, which will give two times more expensive guitars run for their money. The strongest point of this guitar is super-versatile sound, while we find it very comfortable to play and great looking.
The reason why this guitar sounds so amazing lays in a combination of different tonewoods. It features Sitka spruce top, which ensures excellent clarity, while rosewood back and sides are here to add low-end notes and make the sound pretty robust. In order to make the sound even more versatile, this guitar comes with a single-piece mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard.
The Blueridge BR-180 sounds great but it is also very comfortable to play. The neck shape and size is similar to one on Martin D-45, while we also like those diamond and snowflake inlays. The headstock also looks great, while we particularly like those Gotoh open-backed vintage-style tuners, which are gold-plated on this guitar.
Practically, the only complaint goes to the fact that this guitar doesn’t come with a hard case, but rather with a gig bag, and that’s something you wouldn’t expect from a product at this price range. Still, the bag by itself feels pretty sturdy.
- Impressively balanced sound that would work well with all genres and styles
- Sound quality comparable with much more expensive guitars
- Gorgeous vintage look
- No hard case included
Taylor 312ce Grand Concert
If you’re looking for a versatile guitar that offers a balanced tone, a grand concert guitar is an obvious choice. In this class of guitars, Taylor 300 series is particularly popular, mostly because of Taylor’s unmistakable tone. This product offers impressive sound characteristics, while other aspects of the instrument are great as well.
When it comes to tonal characteristics, this guitar combines spruce top with Sapele back and sides, while the neck is made of mahogany. Add to this a typical ebony fretboard and you get a tone that is balanced and offers plenty of mid-range, with great dynamical range. Sapele back and sides play an important role in tone shaping, they are the reason why this guitar sounds slightly brighter compared to its counterparts.
Not only that this guitar sounds greatly unplugged but it also comes with Taylor’s well-known ES2 electronics. The pickup is located behind the saddle, while a single volume and two tone controls allow plenty of tweaking options.
The neck is comfortable and easy to play, while the single-cut layout allows easy access to all 20 frets. A deluxe hard case is included as well.
- V-class binding makes guitar stiffer
- The wood combination ensures excellent clarity and a quite bright tone
- Comfortable neck with easy access to all frets
- Nothing special
Takamine Pro Series 5 Jumbo Cutaway
As an ultimate gig machine, this guitar earns its place on our list of best acoustic guitars under $2000 with ease. Simply, there are so many great things about this guitar that we don’t know where to start from. The first thing that comes to mind with Takamine guitars is excellent precision and build quality and this model is no exception. The build quality is amazing.
Tone-wise, this guitar combines spruce top with rosewood sides, back and neck, so you may count on a very balanced, super-warm tone. The guitar also looks great thanks to a glossy natural top finish and abalone dot-in-dot inlays. A hard-shell case is also included.
This guitar is loud, but it can be even louder thanks to the excellent CT4-DX electronics. This is one of the most versatile preamps in the business, which offers impressive flexibility for live performances. There is a single pickup under the saddle, but also a place for another. You may count on a 4-band EQ, as well as on independent control for each pickup. Furthermore, there are two notch filters for feedback control. Finally, you may count on a built-in tuner.
- Excellent build quality
- Balanced sound, with lots of warmth
- Super-flexible electronics
- Comfortable asymmetrical neck profile
- Some players find preamp section overdesigned
Martin Americana Series DC-16E
It’s hard to find a Martin guitar that sounds as great as this one under $2000. This one offers a well-balanced tone that’s combined with excellent playability, thanks to a comfortable neck and cutaway body.
A spruce top guarantees a well-balanced tone, while sycamore back and sides are here to provide a little bit more generous low-end tones, which is something you won’t find in most dreadnought guitars. That’s the main reason why this guitar stands out, while we should also mention that the neck is made from ebony and that it is very comfortable.
Finally, you may count of Fishman Matrix VT Enhance electronics, which doesn’t change the natural sound of this guitar at all. It will provide you with tonal consistency no matter how loud you’re playing, while it keeps things pretty simple at the same time.
- Balanced yet warm tone
- One of the most comfortable neck profiles in the business
- Hi-quality electronics
- Excellent ergonomics
- Not a classic dreadnought tone
Guild M-40 Troubadour
If you’re looking for a small concert guitar, this might be a perfect choice for you. The M-40 earns its place on our list of best acoustic guitars under $2000 mostly because of its impressive tonal characteristics. Yes, you may count on a huge tone in a small body in this case.
The core of this guitar lays in a typical combination of Sitka spruce top and mahogany sides, back and neck. Add to this a rosewood fretboard and you get a quite common combination. Somehow, this guitar doesn’t sound that common. We particularly like high-end tones, which sound very powerful. The guitar is versatile but works best for fingerpicking and light strumming.
This is a new-generation of Guild concert guitars and one of the things we should mention is that there is a new neck profile. It’s a little bit different, so players who have used to the old shape may find it a little bit strange. Still, we are pretty sure they will get used on in pretty quickly.
- Impressive hi-end tones
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Great for fingerstyle players
- No gigbag or case included
- New neck profile takes time to get used to it
This would be our list of best acoustic guitars under $2000. All these guitars are fantastic and you definitely won’t go wrong with any of them. They are all great but also very different, so keep in mind your preferences when picking one of them.
If we need to pick a winner, that would be the Blueridge BR-180 Historic Series, as we find dreadnought guitar types most common. The combination of tonewoods is pretty common and it would work great for all music genres and playing styles. The overall sound quality is impressive, while we also like that the robust sound is combined with excellent playability and attractive look. Finally, you get a well-designed, padded and sturdy gigbag.