15 Best Acoustic Guitar Brands: The Complete List
If you’re in the market for an acoustic guitar, then choosing right one can seem like a daunting task. There are literally thousands of options out there with varying shapes, sizes, features, and price points.
So how do you find the right acoustic guitar for your specific needs as a player? Well, the first place to start is by looking at the most reliable acoustic guitar brands that have proven themselves to be the best for many decades.
In this post, we’ll discuss 15 of the best acoustic guitar brands in the entire world. Every brand on this list has a proven track record of producing exceptional acoustic guitars for all styles of music at all price points. If you’re having trouble choosing your first acoustic guitar, you can’t really go wrong with any guitar from these reputable brands.
Let’s get started!
The 15 Best Acoustic Guitar Brands
Don’t have time to read the full post? In short, here is a complete list of the 15 best acoustic guitar brands:
- Taylor Guitars
- C. F. Martin & Company (Martin Guitars)
- Collings Guitars
- PRS Paul Reed Smith Guitars
- Gretsch Guitars
- Seagull Guitars
- Blueridge Guitars
- Alvarez Guitars
- Ovation Guitars
- Guild Guitars
For an in-depth overview of each acoustic guitar brand, keep reading!
Taylor is one of the most reputable acoustic guitar brands in the industry delivering high-quality, innovative instruments for players of all skill levels.
I would love to mention one of my personal favorite acoustic guitar brands, Taylor, on this list. Founded in 1974, this company specializes in acoustic guitars. Even today, this company launches acoustic guitar models that are praised for their high-quality tone and instruments.
Taylor was the first-ever guitar brand to use computer mills to precision manufacture guitars. The best thing about this brand is that it manufactures guitars for everyone. Whether you have a tight budget or you are ready to spend well on a high-end guitar, you will get a perfect acoustic guitar in your budget.
You can find its high-end range in California, while its pocket-friendly guitar models are produced and sold in Mexico.
Want to know an exciting fact? Artists such as Taylor Swift, Zac Brown, and Jason Mraz play the guitars by this brand. Another reason to invest in an acoustic guitar for a beginner.
Every guitarist looks upon well-known guitarists for inspiration. What can be better than playing and learning on a guitar that even your idol guitarist uses?
The brand manufactures guitars for both beginners as well as professionals. To polish your skills and qualify from entry-level guitarists to a pro, the Taylor Big Baby BBT might be a good choice. You can even carry it around and also play it on a campfire.
C. F. Martin & Company (Martin Guitars)
Martin guitars are a true American classic, handcrafted with a rich history dating back to 1833. Known for their exceptional tone and playability, Martin guitars are played by world renowned musicians around the world.
Talking about the best acoustic guitar brands, how can we leave out the C.F Martin & Company. After all, it was founded by Christian Frederick Martin. The world knows him as the person to invent the first-ever acoustic guitar in the United States.
It is one of the oldest yet the most reliable brands that offer top-quality instruments to music enthusiasts, like you and me. It has been manufacturing acoustic guitars for the past 187 years, and there is no change in its quality.
Being the oldest guitar brand, this company has manufactured guitars for some of the top music artists. Is Ed Shereen your idol? Or do you like Mark Twain, David Crosby, or Chris Cornell more? Well, these are some of the musicians who use these guitars.
Moreover, John Mayer and Valerie June have also played guitars manufactured by this brand.
If you take my word on it, this brand manufactures the finest acoustic guitars in the United States. You can invest your money on these guitars without even giving it any second thoughts. However, you need to save more than $1000 to get your hands on a Martin acoustic guitar.
Takamine is a premier Japanese acoustic guitar brand that produces stunning instruments at affordable prices.
Takamine Guitars was founded in 1959 in Japan and is well-reputed for its steel-string acoustic guitars. The way its crafts its guitars is something that receives appreciation from all across the globe. The fact that the guitars by this company are used by Blake Shelton, Garth Brooks, and Bruce Springsteen. It is also a top brand choice of guitar for Steve Wariner, Glenn Frey, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, and Bob Seger.
It produces some of the best models in an affordable range. S-34C is one of the most affordable models that offer top-notch build quality and acoustics.
Collings Guitars produces high-end acoustic and electric guitars known for their impeccable craftsmanship, attention to detail, and exceptional tone. A favorite among discerning players.
I will be completely honest here; I got a chance to play the Collings Guitar multiple times. Every time I put my hands on these gorgeously designed guitars, I just do not want to stop. These guitars are made to perfection.
The company was founded in 1973 by Bill Collings and since then has been creating custom, handmade guitars for enthusiasts. The brand not only specializes in acoustic guitars, but it also manufactures electric guitars, mandolins, and archtop guitars.
The founder of this brand known as “one of the most recognized and respected names amongst aficionados of modern acoustic instruments.”
It manufactures and sells two categories of acoustic guitars, and these include 14-fret acoustic guitars with seven series and 12-fret acoustic guitars with four series.
The sound quality of these guitars is phenomenal, and the way strings respond to the finger movements, I just love it. However, purchasing a guitar by this brand might put a hole in your pocket as it is a top company in the category of high-end guitars.
If you ever get a chance to play an acoustic guitar by Collings, you can take my word for it; you will love it.
Fender is a guitar brand that needs no introduction. They've dominated the electric guitar space since the 1950s and pioneered the Rock & Roll music genre.
While Fender is one of the most prominent names in the market of acoustic guitar brands, a few people know that it was launched as an electric guitar brand. The founder of the company, Leo Fender, was an owner of a tube circuitry equipment repairing business.
He used to repair equipment such as radio, music amplifiers, and phonograph players. He realized the growing popularity of the home music system and later started manufacturing Hawaiian lap steel guitars.
These guitars that he manufactured featured a proprietary pickup system containing his own designed amplifiers. It was at this time he changed the name of his company to Fender Electric Instruments Company.
In 1964, the first acoustic guitar was manufactured at this facility, after which the company was sold to CBS. Finding the original pre-CBS guitars is rare. It is not a high-end brand, and it specializes in guitars for entry-level guitarists.
Even though it is not a very expensive brand, it is renowned for its top quality and even guitarists like Eric Clapton, Kurt Cobain, and Jimi Hendrix are advocates of this brand.
These guitars are in the affordable range and perfect for people who are willing to learn on a high-quality guitar. However, not many professionals and pro-level guitarists prefer this brand.
My experience with this guitar was fun as it was one of the first few guitars; I tried my hand on while working on my craft. For a beginner, this might be a good deal.
PRS Paul Reed Smith Guitars
Paul Reed Smith Guitars is a premier guitar manufacture based in Maryland known for producing some of the most stunning, high-quality guitars out there.
For guitarists who are all up for quality and are ready to spend money on their instrument, the PRS guitars are a great option. The company was founded in 1985 by Paul Reed Smith.
If we look at the time since the company has been manufacturing guitars, it can be said that it is one of the most trusted brands. I have a friend in my guitar group, he was saving money for a car, but he spent much of it on a PRS guitar. For me, this was enough proof that the quality of these guitars is superb.
Also, if you are wondering which I think you are, my friend does not regret his decision. Even though these guitars are expensive, you will love the vintage designs and the top-quality sound. If you are looking at the lower price range guitars by this brand, quality should not be a concern.
It is also a very frequently chosen brand by top artists. Some of the artists that use these guitars to make music include Carlos Santana, John Mayer, Mark Tremonti, Mark Holcomb of Periphery, and Zach Myers of Shinedown.
Artists such as Jimmy Herring, Orianthi, David Grissom, Blake Shelton, Martin Simpson, and Tony McManus are also huge advocates of the quality of this brand.
The company never compromises on the quality. However, the thing that I find a bit odd about these guitars is its shorter scale in comparison to that of Fender’s or any others.
Gibson is an iconic guitar brand that needs no introduction. They' are known for their legendary electric guitars including the Les Paul, SG, ES-330, Explorer, Flying V and many more.
If I were to rate the guitar brands, Gibson would definitely be somewhere between rank A and B. It is one of the most well-known guitar brands in the market. If you are willing to put your money in Gibson, you must not fall short on the budget.
The guitar brand is known for its electric guitar range, but its acoustic guitars are no less. The brand initially started as an electric guitar manufacturer in 1902 but soon started producing acoustic instruments.
What makes Gibson such a well-reputed name? The diversity and variety it offers.
In the 1930s, this brand was all every guitarist could talk about; it was that good!
Each and every model by this brand is unique in its own way and comes equipped with diverse features. It is a brand that deserves to be acknowledged for introducing fantastic design qualities and bringing in the concept of artistic craftsmanship to the world of guitar manufacturing.
What I love the most about this brand is that every guitarist will find its perfect match at Gibson. While the expensive range of guitars by the company is worth the praise, you might not want to invest in its cheaper models.
Some users have praised the quality of low-rate guitars by this company; many have not liked the quality. The quality varies with the price, and this is what I’m not very impressed with.
However, when it comes to diversity, artistic touch, and sound, these guitars will make a smooth cut!
Yamaha Guitars offers a wide range of affordable and high-quality acoustic, electric, and classical guitars for players of all skill levels. Known for their playability and reliability.
Entry-level guitarist, layman, or a beginner, the Yamaha is a well-known brand that manufactures guitars for these people. At one time, this company was known to be the top manufacturer of student guitars. I personally loved this as a beginner.
I tried my hand on the nylon string guitar, C40, and loved it. For anyone who has just stepped into playing guitar, I would recommend their nylon guitars as they are fantastic for amateur guitarists.
The FG series is one of the most popular acoustic guitar series that has received much love and appreciation by all.
Even though not many professional level artists prefer the guitars produced by Yamaha, there are a few artists who love it. Some of these artists include Chad Kroeger from Nickelback, Joe Bonamassa, and Ed Roland.
Gretsch is American guitar manufacturer that has made a name for themselves with their inconic semi-hollow body guitars since the 1930s.
A brand that is known for producing small parlor guitars, Gretsch Guitars, is also a brand that I have to mention. Most of the ‘top guitar brands’ list cut this brand out. It is one of the oldest brands that was founded in 1883 by Friedrich Gretsch.
Whether it is a pop-rock group, country music artist, or an Irish rock band, Gretsch Guitars are very frequently chosen by all. The company has, since its beginning, used the most high-quality wood and other materials. It is due to this reason; these guitars are not in the affordable category.
The best acoustic guitars? Well, there are too many to name. As per my rating, the model that is hard to beat is the Jim Dandy Flat Top Acoustic Guitar.
Are there any famous artists who have chosen these guitars? George Harrison from Beatles, John Lennon, Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones, and Pete Townshend are just a few to name.
Epiphone is Gibson's subsidiary brand that produces affordable versions of Gibson's classic designs including the Les Paul, SG, ES-335, Flying V, and many more.
Yes, Epiphone is a subsidiary of Gibson, but it is known for setting some standards in the world of guitars. Many people have come to believe that it makes ‘cheaper’ versions of Gibson guitars, but not many people know that it is indeed a part of Gibson.
The company does not only produce the low-range guitars by Gibson but also manufactures its own guitars.
A point to note here is that this brand was not always a part of the Gibson family. It was founded as an independent musical instrument company in 1873. It originally manufactured lutes and fiddles. However, the company did not start making guitars until its relocation to the United States in 1903 after the death of its founder.
In 1928, this brand manufactured a guitar for the first time. In 1957, the company was taken over by Gibson and has been since then manufacturing an affordable range of Gibson guitars. One of the best models that you can find in the market by Epiphone is the Epiphone DR-100.
For entry-level guitarists, this is a choice that impresses.
Moreover, this brand is chosen by several notable musicians such as Paul McCartney.
My verdict? If you are entry-level guitarists choosing an Epiphone is not a bad choice. It gives a satisfying degree of quality at an affordable rate.
Ibanez is one of the most iconic guitar brands since the 1950s known for producing stunning guitars with exception craftsmanship and playability.
Known for its AC240 OPN entry-level guitar, Ibanez is one of the most reliable guitar brands in the industry. It is a top brand when we talk about guitar brands for entry-level and amateur guitarists.
The story of this brand is linked with Spanish luthier Salvador Ibáñez. The original guitars by this company are rare and not at all affordable. People like Eric Clapton are the ones that own these guitars. However, this was the story of the 1800s.
In 1929, Hoshino Gakki, a company in Japan, started Salvador Ibáñez’s guitars. The trade did not last long, and the Japanese company began to manufacture guitars that were similar to the original but were not the original guitars. The manufacturing of Salvador Ibáñez’s guitars by this Japanese company started in 1935.
Another fact that not many people know about is that this guitar brand was the first-ever to mass-produce seven and eight-string guitars.
For anyone who is willing to purchase a high-quality guitar but does not have the budget to go for a Matin or Collings guitar, the Ibanez is a smart choice.
For me, the excellent value for money it offers is reason enough to spend on these guitars.
Seagull Guitars produces handcrafted acoustic guitars known for their superior craftsmanship, attention to detail, and rich sound. Made in Canada from sustainably sourced materials, they offer great value for their price.
A Canadian guitar brand that was founded in 1982 by Robert Godin., Seagull, is underrated. There are very few fans of this brand, and those who have had a chance to perform using these guitars have fallen in deep admiration for it.
I, for one, really like these guitars. Not only because of their impressive sound quality but the fact that 100% of their woods are sustainably-sourced.
To all the guitarists who are living a green lifestyle and are looking for ways to cut down on their environmental footprint, these guitars are the perfect addition.
Seagull operates under its parent company, Godin. The fact that all models by this brand are handmade and feature solid tops makes it stand apart from its competitors. Whether you choose its guitar from the affordable range or its high-end models, you will observe the same quality.
S6 Original Cedar Slim, Maritime SWS SG, and Entourage Rustic CW QIT are the three top guitars the company has launched in the market.
Blueridge Guitars offers a range of affordable acoustic guitars inspired by classic designs, made with high-quality materials and construction. Known for their warm tone and playability, they're a favorite among bluegrass and folk musicians.
A guitar brand that is an epitome of perfection in functional craftsmanship is the right way to describe Blueridge Guitars. The company is a subsidiary of Saga Musical Instruments.
People who believe that guitars made or imported in China are of low quality; this guitar brand is a powerful response to it. The brand is known for its highest build quality, and it masters in producing affordable guitars.
The focus of this brand is on historic and pre-war models that were very popular among bluegrass players and folk music professionals. The series that the company has released so far includes contemporary, historic, pre-war, and parlor guitars.
Blueridge BR-40 Dreadnought, BR-180CE, 160CE are the top guitar models that the company has produced. It specializes in manufacturing guitars that are suitable for both beginners and professionals. And this very fact makes me a top fan of this brand.
Alvarez Guitars has been one of the leading acoustic guitar brands for over 50 years. Throughout the years they have stuck to their roots and still handcraft guitars in Japan to this day.
Standing at a high-rank in the category of mid-level and high-end guitars, Alvarez Guitars is a well-known guitar manufacturer. Some people also refer to this brand as the leading acoustic guitar brand in the USA.
The unique tone produced by these guitars is worth the praise, and it is what puts this brand in the limelight in the world of guitar brands. The sound quality is terrific, and I can bet on it because I have personally been a part of a performance that featured the Alvarez AD30.
Moreover, the build quality and finishing are exceptional. The modes that topped my list include AP66ESHB Artist Series, AC65 Acoustic Guitar, Artist Series AD30 Dreadnought Guitar, AG60CE Artist Series Guitar, Regent RD26 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, and AD30CE Artist Series Guitar.
Some very well-known artists have played using Alvarez guitars including Joe Bonamassa, Bono, Johnny Cash, Crosby Stills & Nash. Other names include Ani DiFranco, Jerry Garcia, Sir Paul McCartney, Monte Montgomery, Carlos Santana, Josh Turner, Bob Weir, Thom Yorke, and many more.
The best thing about these guitars is that they are very light on the pocket. You do not have to spend your entire savings on it!
Read Also: Where are Alvarez Guitars Made?
Guild Guitars has been producing high-quality acoustic and electric guitars for over 60 years. Known for their exceptional tone, craftsmanship, and innovative designs, they have been played by legends in various genres of music.
Guild Guitars is a brand based in New York and was founded in 1952. Initially, this guitar brand manufactured jazz guitars. Soon the company ventured into the world of acoustic guitars.
In no time, the company started manufacturing acoustic guitars that were close to the quality being offered by Martin Guitars. During this time, their 12-string guitar was a winner, and people like Richie Havens were playing its models such as the D40.
The company was then sold to Fender. At this time, the company released some notable series of acoustic guitars, including Guild Special Run, standard guitars, and Traditional Series.
Just a few years ago, in 2014, Fender sold Guild to Cordoba, and since then, the production of acoustic guitars has rapidly increased. Paul Simon, Peter Hammill, and Billie Joe Armstrong are the ones that have played the guild guitars.
How can we not talk about the build quality of these guitars? Whether you choose its high-end model or an affordable version, you will get the highest quality guitar in your hands.
The rich and warm sound of these acoustic guitars is very impressive. Moreover, this brand offers guitars in both high-end and low-range series. The top acoustic guitars that I would recommend include D-150, M-240E, OM-150, F-1512E 12 String.
Ovation Guitars are known for their distinctive, rounded back design and high-quality, American-made craftsmanship. Featuring innovative electronics and versatile tonal options, they are a favorite among acoustic and electric players.
When we talk about revolutionizing the guitar industry, we cannot complete the list without the Ovation Guitars. Charles Kaman founded the company in 1965, and it specializes in steel-string acoustic guitars. It primarily focuses on both 6- and 12-string models.
Ovation is one of the most well-reputed guitar brands because this brand revolutionized guitar-making. While all manufacturers were manufacturing wooden guitars, this company came up with a hybrid material. The material that they named, Lyrachord, possessed similar properties as the fiberglass.
The designs by this brand mostly featured a bowl shape guitar body. The sound quality of these models was out of this world. It was, in many ways, close to the sound produced by guitars that were manufactured using tonewoods. The company does use traditional wood for the top of their models.
The best models by this company in the category of acoustic guitars include Applause Elite AE44II, Celebrity Elite CE44, 1862 custom balladeer, and MOD TX 4-String Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar.
So, now I conclude my list of the best acoustic guitar brands. When I first decided to buy a guitar, I was so confused. What added to my stress and confusion was the lack of reliable resources of the internet. Might I tell you, it was a tough phase, and I spent so many weeks figuring out the best option by reading official reviews and watching tons of review videos.
But I want to save you from the trouble with my list. I hope you choose the most suitable option for yourself!