Choosing the Best Acoustic Guitar ($400-$699)

What is the best acoustic guitar in the $400-$699 price range? Better yet, why would you possibly need a guitar that costs more than $400? If you are looking for a guitar that has been crafted with great attention to detail in order to provide a better quality of sound and easier playability than many beginner guitars, then purchasing a guitar that costs $400 or more may be exactly what is needed.

The fact is that not all guitars are created equal. The experienced or intermediate guitarist will understand that there comes a point when a beginner’s guitar no longer serves its purpose. Indeed, there comes a point in time when you will find that in order to continue learning and growing as a guitarist that you will need to upgrade. But which is the best acoustic guitar for this purpose?


Seagull Maritime Solid Wood Series

Seagull Maritime SWS The Seagull Maritime SWS (Solid Wood Series) is by far the top guitar in this category. Yes, it is even better than the Taylors, for only in the Seagull Maritime SWS do you get an all-solid wood guitar in this price range. Any experienced guitarist will tell you that a solid wood model has far more to offer in tone and texture than do those models made of laminated woods. At only $599, the Seagull Maritime not only has a solid spruce top, but also a solid mahogany body and overall exquisite craftsmanship. While the Taylor 110 or 114 have solid tops, they do not have solid bodies, which give the Seagull the advantage. On the other hand, the Washburn WD160SW is also crafted from all-solid wood, yet it does not have the attention to detail shown by the Seagull, and its tone is far mellower than the Washburn, giving it a great edge up when it comes to jazz and blues playing.


Seagull Maritime SWS Mini Jumbo

Seagull Maritime SBS Mini Jumbo The Seagull Maritime SWS Mini Jumbo High Gloss is another awesome model in close competition for the title of best acoustic guitar in this price range. Made with a solid spruce top and a solid mahogany body just like the Seagull Maritime, but curvier, easier to handle than is the deeper, wider body of the Seagull Maritime. At $699, this model is more expensive than the Seagull Maritime and made with better attention to detail than the Washburn.

Taylor 114 Grand Auditorium

Taylor 114 The Taylor 114 Grand Auditorium is a beautiful piece of work, and the guitar has a sweetly rounded tone that will steal your heart away. Its body style is such that the tone and volume are hard to match, though they are just edged out by the solid body Seagull models. Even the Washburn solid model, however, can’t quite compete with the Taylor’s tone, though it comes pretty close. And at $649, the Taylor 114 is a great deal, especially for the Taylor name.

Taylor 110 Dreadnought

Taylor 110 The Taylor 110 Dreadnought is another home run from Taylor. Its solid Sitka spruce top and sapele back and sides give this number an incredible tone and volume which, when combined with the dreadnought body, is hard to beat, though the Seagull Maritime solid body guitar, due to its solid craftsmanship, does hold a better tone in spite of the Taylor reputation for excellence. But at just $599, this is a chance to own a Taylor that will serve you well for years.

Yamaha L Series LL6 Dreadnought

Yamaha LL16 The Yamaha L Series LL6 Dreadnought is a great acoustic guitar, especially if you are looking to upgrade. With a solid Engelmann spruce top and laminated rosewood back and sides, this guitar has a rich resonance, but is rather weak on the treble. And when compared with the Taylors or Seagulls, there really is no comparison, in spite of its $499-$529 price tag and the fact that it comes with a hardshell case.

Epiphone Masterbuilt AJ-500M Advanced Jumbo

Epiphone AJ-500M Epiphone Masterbuilt AJ-500M Advanced Jumbo is a real steal. For just $499 you get a guitar with and a solid Sitka spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides. While it can’t compete with the Seagull for quality of craftsmanship, it does edge out the Yamaha for tone and volume.


While each of these models makes for a great intermediate or upgrade model, the final choice will, of course, be up to you and should take into account your own personal preferences when it comes to playing style and budgetary constraints. But even if you do not find your own choice for best acoustic guitar in this price range from this list, hopefully it will put you on the right track for finding the upgrade guitar that is right for you.

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