Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners – Under $600

If you’ve read my article on the different types of acoustic guitars and are getting ready to make your first purchase, then this buying guide is for you.  I’ve reflected on the hundreds of hours I’ve spent researching and playing different acoustic guitars and have broken down my top three guitars across various price points and feature categories.  This article focuses on my top recommended best acoustic guitars for beginners that can be purchased for $600 or less.  In fact, I’ve provided you with two lists, one for traditional acoustic guitars and one for acoustic-electric guitars.

All of the steel-stringed acoustic guitars listed below meet the following basic quality requirements:

  • All feature solid top soundboards, mostly spruce but I also included one with a solid mahogany top.  I’ve found this to be the single most important impact on the quality and sound of an acoustic guitar.
  • All feature quality tone woods in the other major structural components of the guitar, such as sapele and ebony.
  • All guitars are made from reputable manufacturers who have been perfecting their craft for a long, long time.

Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners – Under $600

Taylor Academy 10 Dreadnought Acoustic GuitarFender PM-1 Dreadnought Acoustic GuitarIbanez AVM10 Concert Acoustic Guitar
Ranking1st2nd3rd
BrandTaylorFenderIbanez
ModelAcademy 10PM-1AVM10
ShapeDreadnoughtDreadnoughtConcert
Material: TopSolid SpruceSolid MahoganySolid Spruce
Material: Back/SidesSapeleSolide MahoganySolid Mahogany
Material: NeckSapeleMahoganyMahogany
Material: FingerboardEbonyRosewoodRosewood
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Taylor Academy 10

  • Taylor’s selections of sapele for the back and sides of the guitar along with genuine African Ebony for the fingerboard and bridge, provides the owner of this guitar with a unique combination of quality all-natural materials.
  • For buyers looking to purchase their first quality guitar, or those frustrated over the poor quality of their previous purchase of a “good enough” guitar, you can be confident that this guitar can stay with you for a lifetime.  Taylor stays away from the low-end of the guitar market to ensure that their brand name is only associated with guitars of high quality, playability and durability.
  • The inclusion of a deluxe Taylor gig bag will allow you to take your new guitar anywhere and keep it safe and protected.

Fender PM-1

  • The solid mahogany top, back and sides not only gives this guitar an interesting organic look, but combine to produce an earthy and balanced tone.
  • The unique binding and rosette add to the unique look of this quality guitar
  • Fender includes a deluxe hardshell case allowing you to safety take this guitar on the road

Ibanez AVM10

  • The grand concert body shape has a slightly narrower waist allowing it to be played a little easier for vertically-challenged players.
  • The herringbone design around the binding and mother-of-pearl inlay on the fingerboard are features not typically found on guitars in this price range.
  • The Grover brand open gear tuners with butterbean knobs ensure accurate and stable tuning while adding to the vintage look of this quality guitar.

Best Acoustic-Electric Guitars for Beginners – Under $600

Yamaha FG-TA Dreadnought Acoustic GuitarTaylor 10e Dreadnought Acoustic GuitarMartin DX1AE Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
Ranking1st2nd3rd
BrandYamahaTaylorMartin
ModelFG-TAA10eDX1AE
ShapeDreadnoughtDreadnoughtDreadnought
Material: TopSolid SpruceSolid SpruceSolid Spruce
Material: Back/SidesMahoganySapeleMahogany
Material: NeckMahoganySapeleBirch
Material: FingerboardRosewoodEbonyRichlite
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Yamaha FG-TA

  • Like I’ve said before, the guitar you purchase should inspire you to play more.  The onboard electronics of this beautiful offering from Yamaha includes an amazing reverb/chorus system built right in.  The tonal variations and enhancements you can create will make you feel like you’re playing on a stage without the need for any external amplification or effects.
  • Besides the cool effects features that Yamaha calls its TransAcoustic system, this guitar is built with quality materials and features a special neck design for easier play and comfort for both beginner and intermediate guitarists.

Taylor A10e

  • Taylor’s selections of sapele for the back and sides of the guitar along with genuine African Ebony for the fingerboard and bridge, provides the owner of this guitar with a unique combination of quality all-natural materials.
  • The electronic pickup included in this guitar is called the Taylor Expression System 2 (ES2) and is one of the best on the market.  It features three uniquely positioned pickup sensors which enable a very dynamic sound to be produced.
  • The inclusion of a deluxe Taylor gig bag will allow you to take your new guitar anywhere and keep it safe and protected.

Martin DX1AE

  • The family owned C.F. Martin & Co. has been making musical instruments since 1833 and is currently led by its sixth generation CEO Christian Frederick Martin IV. They are at or near the top of the high-end acoustic guitar market, and this model is a well-made version at a more affordable price.