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2022’s Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1,000

Friday May 13, 2022. 10:00 PM , from Sweetwater inSync
2022’s Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1,000
The best acoustic guitars of 2022 have one major thing in common — value. Each guitar on this list has the appointments to fit the needs of a serious guitarist without feeling like a guitar for beginners. Value-priced instruments aren’t limited to beginner guitars and travel guitars. There are a host of options to choose from. Oftentimes, guitars in the $1,000 price range will feature solid-wood construction and provide you with a lively, memorable tone and a better overall quality. These acoustics have premium features and pump out heavyweight tone at a lightweight price.

Shopping for guitars isn’t easy. Whether you shop by body style, brand name, or what’s available at your local instrument shop, you can run into unforeseen problems. The employees at your local music store might not have the information you need, or your favorite brand might not make an instrument that has the features you’re looking for. At Sweetwater, our guitar experts have been hard at work compiling a list of the best acoustic guitars on the market this year to make your guitar-buying experience hassle-free.

To learn more about how different acoustic body styles impact your tone, be sure to check out our article “How Size Affects Tone of Acoustic Guitars — With Sound Samples.”

Gretsch Gin Rickey

The Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy has long served as a budget-friendly classic for acoustic-blues fans, and the Gretsch G9520E Gin Rickey electrifies that formula with a Deltoluxe pickup! The Gin Rickey sports a comfortable parlor-style body that lends itself as much to couch playing as it does to portability. Plus, its tuxedo-style, black-on-white finish offers a handsome Depression-era aesthetic that’s sure to capture your audience’s attention.

Inspired by the mail-order acoustics of the past, the Gin Rickey’s all-laminate construction sports a basswood body and top that produce (in the best way possible) a dry and boxy tone that’s simply perfect for laying down some blues fingerpicking or country strumming. A Gretsch Deltoluxe magnetic soundhole pickup makes the Gin Rickey capable of both acoustic and electric duty, boasting a rough, throaty amplified tone.

Size: ParlorLaminate basswood constructionDeltoluxe magnetic soundhole pickupLooks that are inspired by vintage department-store acoustic guitars

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Ibanez Artwood AC340

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Looking for a dark, rich tone? The Ibanez Artwood AC340 is a concert-size stunner with a beautifully balanced response across the tonal spectrum, making it a jack-of-all-trades instrument that’s well suited for playing in a variety of different styles.

A solid okoume top gives the Artwood AC340 a highly responsive sound backed by the midrange tonality of the okoume back and sides. For those who are unacquainted, okoume is a wonderful tonewood that provides a sonic palette reminiscent of mahogany — warm and dry. Ibanez loads up this guitar with both a bone nut and saddle to improve resonance, a higher-end feature that’s not often found on guitars of this price point. What’s more, an open-pore finish allows the AC340’s body and top to resonate freely, meaning that the AC340’s tone will only get better with age.

Size: ConcertSolid okoume top with okoume back and sidesOpen-pore finishBone nut and saddle

D’Angelico Premier Lexington LS

If you’re after a big-body sound, then the D’Angelico Premier Lexington LS brings the low-end boom that’s made the dreadnought design the most popular acoustic body style on the planet! In addition to its massive tone, this dread sports a healthy dose of vintage attitude, boasting D’Angelico’s signature art-deco headstock and an old-school Satin Vintage Sunburst finish.

Under the hood, the Premier Lexington LS offers the timeless tonewood combination of a spruce top and mahogany back and sides, a pairing that delivers plenty of bass without slouching on the top-end shimmer. No matter if you’re pickin’ on the porch or performing on the big stage, the Premier Lexington LS supplies ample tone, featuring an excellent MG-30 preamp with a built-in tuner for added utility.

Size: DreadnoughtSpruce top with mahogany back and sidesMG-30 preamp and built-in tunerOld-school D’Angelico art-deco aesthetics

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Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat

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Designed in conjunction with Tim Armstrong of the legendary punk band Rancid, the Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat oozes both style and tone. A concert-size body makes the Hellcat just as capable of aggressive punk strumming as soft, delicate fingerpicking, and you’ll be sure to turn heads with the Hellcat’s stylish signature Hellcat and double-skull inlays.

The Hellcat boasts all-mahogany construction for a round, mellow tone, and the solid top imbues this guitar with an impressive amount of responsiveness and harmonic clarity. The maple neck sports a smooth walnut fingerboard for easy playing, and a Fishman Tim Armstrong preamplifier offers clear and powerful plugged-in tones. Whether you’re looking for your first acoustic or a high-performance stage guitar (or both!), the Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat has you covered.

Size: ConcertSolid mahogany top with mahogany back/sidesRancid’s Tim Armstrong signature modelFishman Tim Armstrong preamplifier

Takamine GY93 New Yorker Parlor

From the couch to the recording studio, the Takamine GY93 New Yorker’s parlor-size body makes it the perfect 6-string companion. While this guitar clocks in at a wallet-friendly price, the beautiful high-gloss finish, wooden binding, and gorgeous 3-piece black walnut/maple back give the GY93 a refined sense of class.

Like most parlor guitars, the GY93 is an excellent fingerpicker with a lively solid spruce top that’s supported by scalloped X-bracing for an incredibly touch-sensitive response. Black walnut sides and a black walnut/maple back imbue the GY93’s tone with a bright, clear sound that offers an excellent degree of clarity with the ability to cut through a dense mix if you’re looking to chunk out some open chords. Finally, Takamine’s split-saddle design is ideal for players who find themselves wandering up the neck, offering spot-on intonation.

Size: ParlorSolid spruce top with black walnut sides and a black walnut/maple backGloss finish and wooden bindingSplit-saddle design

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Gretsch G5021E Rancher Penguin Parlor

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If you find typical acoustic guitars to be lacking in personality, then there are few better ways to stand out from the crowd than a Gretsch G5021E Rancher Penguin Parlor! Gretsch is one of the coolest electric brands around, so you can be sure that, when they make an acoustic, it lives up to their standards of style. Gold binding, gold hardware, and gold headstock inlays offer a significant bling upgrade over any other acoustic guitar out there, and a signature penguin pickguard and triangular soundhole make this guitar one of a kind.

A solid spruce top and a maple back and sides give the G5021E a healthy snap and bite to its tone, a beautifully old-school sound that calls to mind this guitar’s ’50s-era inspiration. While the looks might be firmly rooted in the past, the G5021E comes built with plenty of improvements for modern performing musicians, including a slim “U” neck, a Fishman Presys III preamp, and a built-in chromatic tuner.

Size: ParlorSolid spruce top with maple back and sidesFishman Presys III preamp system and built-in tunerLoaded with old-school Gretsch style

PRS SE Tonare T40E

Pushing boundaries and furthering the art of electric-guitar building is a core tenet of the PRS philosophy, so it should come as no surprise that the PRS SE Tonare T40E does things just a little bit differently. The PRS proprietary X-brace/classical hybrid bracing pattern offers a wonderfully balanced tone that’s even across the entire fingerboard. What’s more, this guitar shares many of the high-end visual features of its electric siblings, including an attention-grabbing Tiger Acrylic purfling and rosette, a beautiful Tobacco Sunburst finish, and PRS signature bird inlays.

A solid Sitka spruce top and ovangkol back and sides produce an exceedingly crisp tone with a wonderful articulation, courtesy of Paul’s hybrid bracing. The grand concert body is the perfect cross between power and balance, and it’s well suited for guitarists looking for a single guitar to cover all their acoustic bases.

Size: Grand concertSolid Sitka spruce top with ovangkol back and sidesFishman GT1 under-saddle pickupHybrid X-brace/classical bracing

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Guild D-140

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While we have plenty of smaller-bodied guitars on this list, for guitarists who need a big, boomy tone, only a dreadnought will do. The Guild D-140 is about as traditional as dreadnoughts come with Guild’s long history of top-notch acoustic craftsmanship standing behind it. From solo singer accompaniment to light-speed bluegrass runs, the D-140 is the perfect example of everything a good dreadnought should be.

A solid Sitka spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides, a mahogany neck, and a rosewood fingerboard — the D-140’s premium tonewood construction serves as the foundation for guitars well over three times the cost of this humble Guild, but don’t be fooled by its wallet-friendly price! The D-140 boasts a cannon-like projection and a beautiful resonance that competes with the best of them, and it’s an excellent choice for guitarists who need an uncompromisingly powerful, responsive, and warm unplugged tone.

Size: DreadnoughtSolid Sitka spruce top with solid mahogany back and sidesMassive dreadnought projection and toneBeautiful sunburst finish

Martin D-10E Road Series

The Martin D-10E is the little brother to the Martin D-15M. It’s equipped with a solid Sitka spruce top and creature comforts like an inlaid soundhole and body binding. It has a large tone that rivals the Martin D-28‘s power without becoming muddy. It’s in our list of best acoustic guitars under $1,000 because of the high-end Martin dreadnought tone it produces at an affordable price.

This guitar has a solid Sitka spruce top and sapele back and sides. Like other Road Series models, it’s loaded with Fishman MX-T electronics and an auto-muting soundhole tuner. It has a fast neck, courtesy of the hand-rubbed neck finish. This guitar has Martin’s classic understated elegance that emphasizes the beauty of its tonewoods.

All in all, the Martin D-10E is a great introduction to the world of Martin dreadnought acoustic-electric guitars.

Solid sitka spruce top with solid sapele back and sidesFishman MX-T electronics and auto-mute tunerPerformance taper neck

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Taylor 114ce

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Taylor’s entry-level model into their flagship Grand Auditorium body style delivers professional-level tone, looks, and Taylor’s signature effortless playability. One of the most versatile body styles, the Taylor 114ce’s Grand Auditorium shape features the width and depth of a dreadnought but with a slimmed-down waist for a more comfortable playing experience. This makes the 114ce a veritable jack of all trades, taking you everywhere from huge, ringing open chords to sparkling high-register fingerstyle to cutting lead tones.

Another reason for the 114ce’s versatility is its beautiful tonewood combo of a Sitka spruce top and layered walnut back and sides — it’s a great pairing for those that need both authoritative lows and crystalline highs. When it comes time to plug in, this guitar comes loaded with Taylor’s Expression System 2, the same system found on Taylor’s top-of-the-line models.

Size: Grand AuditoriumSolid Sitka spruce top with layered mahogany back and sidesTaylor Expression System 2 electronicsComfortable cutaway

Godin Metropolis Composer QIT

At the very top of our list is the Godin Metropolis Composer QIT, a dreadnought that’s purpose-built for the modern performing musician. This guitar’s slope-shouldered dreadnought-style body is topped with solid mahogany for a beautifully dry and resonant sound with plenty of low-end punch. The layered mahogany back and sides add some clarity and depth to the Metropolis Composer QIT’s tone in addition to being ideal for the performing musician who prefers their guitar to have a more balanced response than the typical bass-biased dreadnought.

What about the electronics? This guitar’s custom Godin QIT electronics are the star of the show, designed by Godin to offer unparalleled plugged-in tones. An under-saddle transducer, onboard preamp, EQ, and built-in tuner make the Metropolis Composer QIT a master of utility whether you’re onstage or recording in the studio.

Size: DreadnoughtSolid mahogany top and layered mahogany back and sidesCustom Godin QIT electronicsOnboard EQ

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There you have it! Our list of 2022’s best acoustic guitars under $1,000 features guitars from almost every price point that can be used for a host of different applications. If you have any questions or if you’re still struggling to find the best acoustic guitar for you, then give your Sweetwater Sales Engineer a call at (800) 222-4700! We can help you find the perfect guitar to fit your budget.

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The post 2022’s Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1,000 appeared first on inSync.

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