When you are spending up to $600 on an acoustic guitar, you are not at the very top end of the range. However, you do expect to get something quite a bit better than a starter guitar. Finding the Best Acoustic Guitars under $600 is not so easy. And not everything with the price tag is worth the money.
The market for many years had been dominated by a few manufacturers. We won’t bother to mention their names. But over the last 40 to 50 years, a change has come. Some new manufacturers producing some real quality have arrived, especially from Japan.
In some cases better guitars than those made by companies with ‘the’ big reputations. This price level is one where the new boys excel. Guitars that play and sound like instruments from a much higher cost bracket. Of course, there are some not so good examples as well, so let us take a look at the best acoustic guitars under 600 dollars and find the perfect one for you…
Top 7 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $600 of 2023
1 Fender Newporter Player
Fender needs little introduction to anyone who has even heard of the guitar. Leo got the ball rolling in the 50s, and their first acoustic guitars came along in the 60s. They were inspired by the free-living, beach-loving Southern California ethos. And were designed more to suit the lifestyle than the studio or concert halls.
The Newporter is a member of the California series of acoustics that harks back to those days. But it also tries to add a bit of ‘Fender-flavor’ with a Stratocaster-like headstock. It has its own ‘Newporter’ body shape with a Sitka spruce top with mahogany back and sides. These aren’t left natural finish, these woods are painted and in this case, painted Candy Apple Red.
To add to the style, it has a gold scratchplate and a two-ring rosette around the soundhole. There is also an attractive white binding. It all looks and feels a little different and, in some ways, a little ‘un-Fender’.
However, to bring us all back to their image, we have a mahogany neck with that recognizable ‘C’ slimline taper. It has a walnut fingerboard with 20 frets and inset dot inlays. Up at the top, the six in a line ‘Strat’ headstock. Here there are six closed nickel machine heads and a NuBone nut.
It is a midsized guitar, so it is comfortable to play for starters or experienced players. And it is lightweight; therefore, it’s easy to take to the beach, which is where it looks like it belongs.
It is fitted with a Fishman pickup and preamp that does its best to deliver a natural sound. And has a volume and tone built-in with controls located on the top edge. When played acoustically, the sound has a nice balanced tone with just enough bottom end for a smaller sized body.
The internal bracing system helps to deliver a very nice resonance. And the slim neck design makes it easy to play that is excellent for either a strumming or finger-picking style.
A great guitar for a starter or experienced player, it has a fun side to its character, which makes you happy to play it. It is set at the top-end of our price point. A good guitar and easily one of the Best Fender Acoustic Guitars under $600.
- Well-made with great woods and good fittings.
- Good electrics and a comfortable slim tapered neck make playing easy.
- Some are not going to like the painted wood.
2 Ibanez AEWC400
Ibanez is one of those companies that have stepped up to the plate to challenge the established names.
The 60s and 70s saw the emergence of crafted guitars from Japan. After a few hiccups by the end of the 70s, they had got their act together. Now everyone had to take them seriously. Ibanez was one of the first to break into the European and American markets. When you see the quality of this guitar, it is not hard to understand why.
It has been designed with two very clear goals in mind. The first one is that it must be easy to play and comfortable to hold. Being smaller than a Dreadnought, it is easy to hold, even for a starter. It has what they term a cutaway. To us, it is more of a sloping design that allows access to the full fingerboard. The body has a contoured back and front to add to the comfort. It really has a stunning look.
The other priority is that it sounded good. They have achieved that also. It has a maple wood top and also maple back and sides. The selection of a recognized tonewood with a warm sound is a great choice. The maple body gives emphasis to the bass and the mid-range sound of the guitar. Internally it has X-bracing, which adds stability to the top and increases the tone potential.
It is fitted with a Fishman Sonicore pickup. It also has an Ibanez preamp. There are tone and volume controls and a tuner located on the top edge.
These are all quality materials, and they all add up to one conclusion. The sound as an acoustic is rich and warm with great resonance. Amplified, it is bright and clean. We think Ibanez got the sound about right.
The neck is made of mahogany, and it features a rosewood fingerboard. More quality woods that add to the overall feel and tone of the guitar. Up at the headstock, there are six closed quality tuners.
It is given a flamed gloss finish, which accentuates the contours of the body. Priced up at the top end of our scale, it is a well-made guitar with excellent features and a great sound.
- Well made with good fittings and a nice contoured design.
- Easy to play and generates a rich, warm sound.
- Some may not like the color scheme and prefer a natural finish.
3 Yamaha L-Series LS6 Concert
Yamaha goes back a long way. Originally established in Tokyo in 1887 to build pianos and organs, they didn’t build guitars until the 1940s. They didn’t arrive in Europe until the mid-60s, but by then, the range was expanding and the quality improving. By the 70s, people took notice. Since then, of course, they have become recognized as being a great guitar manufacturer.
This L-series is an acoustic-electric with a slightly smaller body. Despite that, it still has a very exceptional sound. It has a solid Spruce top with mahogany back and sides. Guitarists will know that combination produces a wonderful rich sound. Especially with the solid one-piece top, the sound improves as time passes.
It has the standard, recognizable Yamaha scratchplate and a nice edging around the top of the body. An attractive rosette around the soundhole completes an impressive look. Inside there is a non-scalloped bracing that emphasizes the lower frequencies.
The neck is made from 5-ply mahogany and has a rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays. It is a slightly slimmer neck, which makes it a great choice for a young player or starter.
Up at the headstock, there are six closed machine heads in a gold color that match the wood perfectly. And it has a passive SRT pickup. Each string has its own piezo element. This creates an accurate sound reproduction.
This is a guitar that is built to be easy to play and comfortable to hold. It is suitable for both strumming or finger-picking style. The L6 Concert size maintains the Yamaha traditions of quality of workmanship and materials. It has a great sound and plays very nicely.
- Typical Yamaha quality of build and design.
- Plays easily and has a warm, rich sound.
- The very slimline neck could be a problem for players with larger hands.
4 Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar Limited Edition
Seagull guitars were formed in 1982 in Eastern Quebec and have built a formidable reputation. The sound of a Seagull is quite unique and mirrors that homespun Canadian style. However, that sound has attracted singer-songwriters from all around the world to use them. James Blunt uses an S6. And it certainly has to be included as one of the Best Acoustic Guitars under $600.
It is a full-size Dreadnought design. In terms of the volume and the resonance of the sound, we all know what that means. It is going to be big and warm with a powerful low end, and it is going to be loud.
The top back and sides are made from a combination of Cedar for the top, and Wild Cherry wood is used for the back and sides. Chosen for their ability to project a clear, bright sound. Internally there is X-bracing. And it has a patterned ivory color scratchplate and is finished in an impressive black semi-gloss lacquer. The bridge is made from Rosewood.
The neck is made from Silver Leaf Maple, and it has a Rosewood fingerboard. The neck is actually quite chunky and is, therefore, better suited to adult hands that are larger. Smaller junior and smaller starter hands might struggle a bit until they get used to it. The neck has a double truss rod built-in and has a standard 20 fret fingerboard with dotted inlays.
Up at the top, there is a tapered headstock with a three by three tuner distribution. There is a school of thought that believes this arrangement allows an instrument to hold tune better. This is because the strings are in straight lines rather than any bends before reaching the tuners.
It has a compensated Tusq nut and saddle, which cannot be overestimated in importance. They are manufactured under heat and high pressure to control the sounds that go to the guitar top creating the tone. Leaving those that stay in the strings to give you sustain. The headstock is completed by the Seagull logo.
Beautifully made with good materials and an excellent sound. The neck size may preclude very young players as a starter instrument, as may the weight of over 14 pounds. However, it is a Dreadnought design, so it is going to be bigger than most. It comes with a gig bag.
- Well-made with very good materials and fittings.
- A rich, warm cedar top sound.
- It might be rather large for young beginners.
5 Epiphone Hummingbird PRO Acoustic
Epiphone guitars have their fans, and they have a history that some are unaware of. The Hummingbird is a guitar that has added to that history significantly.
It first appeared in 1960 and had some well–known users, Keith Richards being one. He used an American Epiphone Hummingbird on ‘Play With Fire’, ‘Under My Thumb’, and interestingly laid down a rhythm track on ‘Satisfaction’. In today’s world, it has been used by Sheryl Crow and also Noel Gallagher from Oasis.
This model is the Hummingbird PRO Acoustic/Electric. It has a solid spruce top that is recognized as being one of the best tonewoods that improve with age, and the body is made from mahogany. The top has a black and white binding, and the back has a white binding. It has a simple decoration around the soundhole and a very decorative scratchplate.
Internally it has the ‘X’ bracing pattern known for producing a balanced sound without flutter from the top.
The neck is made from Mahogany with twenty medium frets and a Rosewood fingerboard. The fingerboard has Pearloid inlays in a parallelogram shape. It is a ‘D’ profile neck with a slim taper making it easy and comfortable to play. The neck is fitted to the body with a glued dovetail joint.
Up top, there are six sealed nickel-plated Grover machine heads on a classic shape headstock with the Epiphone logo. The fittings are completed by a basic synthetic bone nut and saddle on a reverse belly bridge, which is also made from Rosewood. All very basic but staying true to the design of the originals.
It is fitted with a Fishman pickup and preamp system. A good choice, as it produces a bright, articulate sound. You tend to lose a little of the bottom end when amplifying an acoustic; therefore, this is a necessity to stop booming and feedback.
It has decent controls located on the top edge. Volume and basic EQ adjustments with treble and bass control and a mute and battery indicator level. Yes, you need batteries to run it — two of them to be precise. However, unlike some, it hasn’t got an onboard tuner.
A very good guitar and one Epiphone can be proud of at a very acceptable price.
- Great sound, well made with good materials.
- Good pickup and preamp and effective tone controls.
- No onboard tuner.
6 Epiphone EJ-200SCE Acoustic/Electric Guitar
This is the Epiphone version of what some in the guitar world consider a classic. “Here comes old flattop…. etc.” The original guitar is used by a lot of people, especially in country music circles. It has a style of its own.
They had to keep as close to the original design as possible hence the large jumbo size. It has a spruce top with a maple body with that stunning vintage sunburst finish. One thing that has been added is the deep cutaway giving full access to the fingerboard — a good idea in our view.
White binding works well with the sunburst, and there is the ‘mustache’ bridge and decorative scratchplate. Apart from the cutaway, it is a dead ringer for the original.
The neck is also maple and has a slim taper making it so easy to play. It has the usual Rosewood fingerboard and crown inlays. Rosewood is also used for the bridge, which has a synthetic bone saddle.
Up at the top is a Dovewing headstock with binding and six die-cast Grover machine heads. There are gold-colored screws on the bell truss rod cover.
Being acoustic-electric, it has a Fishman preamp and pickup system. There are some basic controls, volume, and tone, on the top edge of the body.
Gibson themselves know only too well you cannot fully recreate a replica and make it the same as the vintage. This Epiphone is the same. If you are expecting it to sound exactly like an original, you will be disappointed. If you’re hoping for a great sound, you’ve got it. Big, rich, and with plenty of resonance, it delivers the goods. And being so easy to play is a winner in our book.
- Plenty of style and swagger, it has the look.
- A great sounding guitar that has a nice easy playing action.
- The purists may not like the cutaway that’s been added.
7 The Loar LH-204-BR Brownstone Small Body
First glimpse of this, and it gives off a dark, moody feel. We think that is probably the idea as the sound lends itself to a bit of Blues. A guitar with a bit of a sting in the tail. Stick around, and you will find out why.
It has been designed to create a very vintage feel. They use a Spruce top and Mahogany sides to give you some warm tones. A tried and trusted combination of tonewoods. It has a Padauk bridge showing again an almost minimalist emphasis on design. The body aesthetics are completed with a brown stain.
The soundhole is given a similar binding to the body, and its simplicity is striking in its understatement. The same applies to the plain design of the bridge. It has a very vintage look that might have come from the 40s or even earlier.
The neck is constructed from Mahogany with a Rosewood fingerboard and has a nice easy ‘C’ profile. This is also given a nice binding to the full length of the neck and some very basic dot inlays. It has a two-way adjustable truss rod and 19 medium frets.
Up top are six TonePro tuners and a very simple design for a headstock. In fact, the whole design of this guitar is just so understated, which adds to its appeal.
We are struggling to find the words to explain why this guitar is so appealing to look at. Simple with nothing to set it apart, it doesn’t even have a scratchplate. But then you hear it. Deep and rich sounding it is an inspiring sound. But it doesn’t only sound good for rustic blues. It’s sweet enough for anything, and that’s what makes it one of the Best Acoustic Guitars under $600 around.
The sting in the tail. Where is it made? Well, it is made in China. A really very good guitar with a great sound. Let’s find a bit of fault. No gig bag. That would have been the icing on the cake.
- Well-built with good materials and excellent understated design.
- Great sound and nice to play.
- Nothing other than like most, it doesn’t come with a gig bag.
More Acoustic Choices
Not sure if you want to stretch to $600, no problem, there are superb choices in every price range. So, check out our reviews of the Best Acoustic Guitars under 500 Dollars, the Best Acoustic Guitars under 300 Dollars, the Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars under 200 Dollars, the Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners, and the Best Acoustic Guitars for Kids currently available.
So, What Are The Best Acoustic Guitars Under $600?
We return to the question we started with, is there a very good guitar less than $600? Of course, there is. We have looked at some very, very good guitars. Some have specific traits to their design that makes them suitable for a certain style. Some are recreations of previous legends. However, they are all well-made with good materials, and any of them is well worth owning.
But, if we had to choose, it becomes difficult. There are some big, impressive brand names in there. But we have chosen a lesser-known brand.
Because we like its understated design and we love the sound. Our choice for the Best Acoustic Guitar under $600 is the…Loar LH-204-BR Brownstone Small Body Acoustic Guitar.