Best Affordable Acoustic Guitars Under $200

You decided to buy an acoustic guitar, but you are low on budget. With that many available models and brands out there you are not sure which one will be the best choice for its price.

If that’s your case, then you are in the right place.

In this article, our experts reviewed some of the best acoustic guitars under $200 to help you save your time and avoid buying the one that you are going to hate later. So without further ado, let’s look at our list of the best affordable acoustic guitars that don’t suck.

Fender FA-100

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Yamaha FG800

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Ibanez IJV50

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Best Choice Products Bundle Kit

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Donner DAG-1

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Jasmine S-35 Pack

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Epiphone DR-100

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Fender FA-100

Fender acoustic guitars have a long history of appealing tone, quality materials, and fine playability. For a budget guitar, Fender FA-100 is definitely a great choice. The biggest advantage is that you get a complete set up for learning:

  • Fender acoustic guitar
  • Gig bag
  • Strap
  • Digital clip-on tuner
  • Extra set of strings
  • Picks
  • Instructional DVD
  • Polishing cloth

You have everything you need to start playing right away.

Fender FA-100 has a full-size dreadnought body that is great for a vibrant tone. Realistically, for a couple hundred dollars you are not going to get a true Fender sound, but this guitar definitely provides decent quality sound for the money you pay.

Pros
  • Complete set up
  • Full-dreadnought body
  • No fret buzzing
Cons
  • Tough action
  • Doesn’t stay in tune for too long

Yamaha FG-800

Despite its low price, Yamaha FB800 offers fine construction, excellent design, and superb value. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and nato back/sides. The fingerboard and bridge are made of rosewood, providing a soft, mellow sound. Here is a great article about how different types of wood affect guitar sound:

Additionally, this model comes with an adjustable truss rod, which is very important for an acoustic guitar. It is used to adjust the height between the strings and the fretboard (it’s called action) if it doesn’t feel comfortable to press the strings.

Realistically, you can’t expect the same quality from a $200 and a $1000 guitar. Cheap guitars tent to go out of tune more often. Especially this happens a lot if you love bending.

A great way to fix this problem without spending a lot of money is to stretch the strings. Anytime you put on a new set of strings – you need to stretch them.

Here is how you do it:

  1. grab a string with your thumb and index finger
  2. pull it up (away from the fretboard)
  3. release
  4. repeat the same process on fret 5, 12 and 17 for EVERY string

Doing so will make your guitar stay in tune for much longer.

Pros
  • Nice sound quality
  • Great value for the money
  • Robust structure
Cons
  • Strings need to be stretched
  • High action

Ibanez IJV50

Ibanez IJV50 is another great budget guitar both for beginners and intermediate players. It features spruce top and comes with a gig bag and a package of accessories. Most customers are happy with the great look and awesome sound.

While there are cases when the guitar was delivered with a crack or defect, that happens very rarely and is rather an exception than a rule.

Pros
  • Sturdy build
  • Great sound for such a low price
  • Easy to play
Cons
  • Strings may need to be replaced

Best Choice Products Bundle Kit

This acoustic guitar bundle is the cheapest option on our list and at the same time one of the best selling guitars on Amazon. The ultimate guitar starter kit includes:

  • picks
  • strap
  • pitch pipe
  • digital tuner
  • extra set of 6 strings

Additionally, you receive a nylon carrying case that’s perfect for storage and portability. This is the best you can get for such a low price. Unfortunately, the guitar doesn’t stay in tune for too long, which is expected considering its price.

Pros
  • Attractive finish
  • Comes with a starter kit
  • Full-bodied sound
Cons
  • Doesn’t stay in tune for too long
  • Can be delivered with cracks

Donner DAG-1

Donner DAG-1 is a great affordable guitar. It has nice sound and tone and is easy to play.

Moreover, it provides great value for the money you pay, as it comes with a gig bag, guitar strap, extra strings, a digital clip-on tuner, polishing cloth and guitar picks as a gift.

Unlike the previous guitar on our list, Donner DAG-1 comes with high-quality strings and a robust construction. It is excellent for beginners and there haven’t been any complaints about buzzing frets, high action or low-quality materials.

However, we did notice that this guitar tends to go out of tune more often than it should.

Pros
  • Comes with a starter package
  • Full-size dreadnought body
  • High-quality sound
Cons
  • Won’t stay in tune

Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar Pack

This dreadnought guitar has a nice tone and comes with a beautiful wood grain. It is great for any level of guitar players. This model offers a spruce top with Jasmine guitar’s signature Advanced “X” Bracing. The back and sides are made of this, making it light but definitely sturdy.

A slim neck and a full-sized body provide an excellent shape that’s comfortable to hold and play. To top it all of, Jasmine S35 acoustic guitar also features a rosewood fingerboard and bridge, full body binding and chrome tuners that make it look sleek while maintaining great sound.

Pros
  • Good value for the money
  • Light and good-looking
  • Balanced and rich tone
Cons
  • May go out of tune frequently

Epiphone DR-100

This is one of the best sounding guitars for such a low price. It is great both for beginners and advanced players. You will be surprised by the sound of this model. It provides great projection and volume when you do a full strum, while consistently keeping clear articulation at any volume.

Whereas other budget guitars sound beginner and “boxy”, Epiphone DR-100 is miles above that level in terms of sound quality and voice.

Additionally, the Epiphone brand provides a lifetime guarantee.

Regardless of whether you are a beginner just starting out or an experienced player – for such a low price this is the best guitar you can get.

Epiphone DR-100 is the best budget acoustic guitar on our list.

Pros
  • Mahogany body
  • Great projection and volume
  • Affordable and durable
Cons
  • Neck dries out easily in warm climates
  • The action might need adjustment

Buyer’s Guide

When looking for an affordable guitar, you have to realize that most of them will provide lower quality compared to more expensive models. The good news is even for $200 you can still find a guitar that will be comfortable to play and have good sound. The key is to know what to look for.

Action

An action is a distance between the fretboard and the strings. If the action is too low – the strings will be too close to the fretboard and playing will cause buzzing frets.

On the other hand, if the action is too high you will need to press the strings much harder to make the notes sound. While you might still be able to play separate notes, it’s going to be very hard to get each string to sound when playing chords. Either of these two issues is bad and will definitely ruin all the fun of playing the guitar.

To avoid this painful experience, make sure you carefully read customer reviews when shopping on Amazon. Perform a search for the word “action” and see what people write in the reviews or questions about a specific model. You can post your own question. Usually, Amazon sellers respond quickly because they are interested in selling more guitars.

What action is better?

There is no right or wrong way to set up action on your guitar. It depends on many factors like your personal preference, experience, the style of music you play etc. Most players just know what they like more. I prefer lower action because this way it takes less effort to play notes or chords. You may have different personal preferences.

Staying In Tune

Most budget guitars tent to go out of tune more often.

It may happen because of the lower quality of the strings provided with the guitar. Additionally, bending strings make them go out of tune faster. Lastly, every time you put on new strings you need to stretch them.  Most likely in the case with a budget guitar, nobody has done that. As you can see, with this simple method you can make your guitar stay in tune for much longer.

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