It isn’t easy buying anything cheap, let alone a guitar. So often the people that want to buy the best cheap acoustic guitars under $200, are people that know the least about want to look for. Buying an instrument to ‘try out’ and see how they get along with it, before deciding whether to carry on and really trying to learn to play the instrument.
Quite often, they buy something for the wrong reasons. Some manufacturers have a clever way of ‘dressing-up’ an instrument, so it looks sharp but is actually quite useless. If you buy a guitar that’s unplayable, you won’t be able to play it, and no one else will either, even a seasoned professional.
Some stores have staff who are ‘told’ what to sell because there’s more profit in it, not because they actually value the guitar as an instrument, so you aren’t going to get the best advice there.
Going to the mainstream, the recognized sellers who have a lot to lose are usually ok, and you will get sound advice.
However, it is possible to get a decent guitar for under $200. It’s obviously not going to sound or play as nicely as more expensive models, but we don’t expect that.
So, let’s go through the best of the best cheap acoustic guitars under $200. And find the perfect one for you…
Top 8 Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars Under $200 Of 2023
1 Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar
Not very well known as a manufacturer, Jasmine guitars used to be designed and sold by Takamine. Takamine, of course, is a manufacturer of high-quality guitars from Japan. Maybe Jasmine to Takamine was a bit like Squier to Fender or Epiphone to Gibson.
Ownership has now changed to KMC Music, and the guitars are now Chinese made.
The Jasmine S35 is a Dreadnought-style guitar, big in size and big in sound but not big in price. The back and sides construction is from laminated Nato. Nato is often called eastern Mahogany and is a common wood in guitar manufacture at the cheaper end.
The top though, is made from Spruce. Spruce is a wood that is used on for the tops of some of the best acoustic guitars made. This is because of its resonant qualities. Using an advanced ‘X’ bracing system, again very similar to top guitar manufacturers, the Jasmine has a warm sound and is very stable.
They have added some rather attractive binding to the body and a tasteful decoration around the sound hole. There is a black scratchplate but no cutaways on the body.
The neck construction is also from Nato, and it has a Rosewood fingerboard. The neck is very playable with its slim profile. There are dot inlays inserted on the fingerboard.
It has a synthetic bone nut, and saddle and the bridge are also Rosewood. Tuners at the headstock are also of reasonable quality.
The sound is really quite nice. Some nice bottom end with the spruce top delivering a crispness and clarity. It is very well made and with its satin finish is a rather attractive guitar without being flamboyant in any way.
At the price, this is an excellent guitar, and really, the price does not tell the story at all. You could pay a lot more for a guitar with the same qualities.
2 Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Acoustic
Yamaha makes great guitars, so if there is going to be one for less than $200, then we certainly need to have a look.
The Yamaha FG is the world’s biggest selling series of acoustic guitars. And the 800 is an upgrade to the very popular 700.
When you look at this instrument, it’s not hard to see why it is so popular. A Dreadnought body shape with a tapered waist with the back and sides made from Nato, or Eastern Mahogany as it’s sometimes known. A solid Sitka Spruce top gives it its great sound, and the scalloped bracing inside the body improves the sound resonance while also adding strength to the construction.
There is a typical Yamaha binding to the body and some nice decor around the sound hole and a tasteful tortoiseshell scratchplate.
Manufactured with a Nato neck and a Rosewood fingerboard that features dot inlays. It also has an adjustable truss rod. The neck has a slim profile and is easy to play and has a smooth satin finish.
At the headstock, there are some die-cast enclosed machine heads that are well made and quite sturdy, and it has a Rosewood bridge.
As you look around this guitar, it is difficult to find fault with it. Made from good materials to a high standard by Yamaha, it sounds as good as it looks.
It is not hard to see why it is one of the biggest sellers in the world. Great value for money and a quality product.
3 Fender FA-100 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
A Fender guitar for under $200. We would normally say, sure, in your dreams, but here it is!
Fender has produced a guitar that just about everyone can afford and brings the name and quality of Fender to people that might not have been able to have had it before.
They have produced it in the classic Dreadnought shape which is well known for its big sound and acoustic volume. The back and sides are made from Agathis, and it has a Spruce top that gives you this sound. While the internal ‘X’ bracing adds to the projection of the tone and to the stability of the guitar.
The body is well made and has a subtle edging and a decoration around the sound hole. It also comes with a Fender scratchplate.
The neck construction is from Agathis with a Rosewood fretboard. There are dot inlays and an adjustable truss rod. One thing to consider is that the neck is slightly shorter than a standard size, which is good for starters.
The headstock has some well made closed chrome die-cast machine heads, and there are a Rosewood bridge and a plastic nut and saddle.
The sound is good and the Dreadnought body, albeit a slightly slimline version, produces a nice tone with plenty of volume.
If you are expecting top of the range quality, you will be a little disappointed. This is a budget instrument, produced by a world-class manufacturer, but they have cut a few corners to ensure the price stays attractive. And, there is nothing wrong with that.
They have done a good job, and for the price, it is one of the best cheap acoustic guitars under $200.
It comes with a gig bag.
4 Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic
If you have read our reviews before you will know we are big fans of Epiphone. They are producing some quality guitars at all levels, and the DR-100 is another example. We also dispute that they are just a copy of better models; they have their own identity.
With the DR-100 you are going to get more than you bargained for. A mahogany body, back, and sides are the first thing. Good wood for resonance and not a cheaper wood at all, they’ve gone for quality in the build of the body.
Add on a spruce top. Another wood you will find on expensive instruments because of its tonal qualities, and you begin to see they are not cutting corners on quality.
There is a nice edging to the body and an attractive decoration around the sound hole. The body is finished off with the Epiphone logo on the scratchplate. All very impressive looking.
The neck is mahogany with a Rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays and has an adjustable truss rod. The neck has a slim profile making it easy to play. A Rosewood bridge with plastic saddle and a plastic nut along with some well-made enclosed chrome tuners at the headstock where the Epiphone name sits proud complete a quick look at its construction.
This guitar is real quality and is suitable not only for starters but for more experienced musicians. The tone is warm and rich, and it’s great to play.
The price? One wonders how they can produce an instrument this good for this price. As we said earlier, you are getting more than you bargained for with this guitar.
5 Fender CD-140SCE 12 String Acoustic-Electric Guitar with Case
The heading for these reviews is the best cheap acoustic guitars under $200. This guitar goes just a little over that budget, but you will see why. This is special and we have included it because it is such a special deal.
This is a twelve string version of Fender’s six-string equivalent. And there are not too many corners cut with this instrument to give you a great sounding guitar.
The body is Rosewood, both back, and sides. Usually, companies use other woods for the body, but Rosewood has a tone all of its own, and features in the main build for this guitar. The top is Spruce, most people’s choice as a great wood for the top, reflecting the sound as it does and adding its own special tone.
The body design is in the Dreadnought style with a single cutaway giving full access to the upper reaches of the fingerboard. Everything that could have been done within reason to create a great sound has been included. Even the scalloped internal bracing, giving further impetus to the roundness of the tone and the overall stability of the body.
The natural finish is complemented with a nice edging and a tortoiseshell pickguard. It looks the part, and it is. Rolled fingerboard edges and a slimline neck make this a very easy guitar to play. At the Rosewood headstock, there are the 12 enclosed tuners which are not Fender’s best but are adequate.
It has a Fishman Presys preamp offering a decent amplified sound with some tone and sound options. Bass, middle and treble controls, a volume and a phase control offer some tonal choices, and there is an onboard tuner.
This is a good guitar for the money, and if you want a first 12-string, it is a great option. Big sound, well made and its a Fender.
6 Ibanez 6 String Acoustic Guitar Pack
Designed very much as a starter pack for a complete beginner, Ibanez has come up with a cost-effective package that includes just about everything a young starter might need.
Besides the guitar itself, the package includes a gig bag, an accessory bag, a strap, and an electronic tuner. A decent list of items that make this a standout offering. But what about the important bit, the guitar itself.
The Dreadnought style guarantees that players will like it. That deep, big resonant sound that you can only get from bigger instruments is there and is impressive. The body, back, and sides are made from Laminated Agathis, and it has a Laminated Spruce top.
Good materials for generating a decent sound. The body has a thin edging and a black pickguard.
The neck is mahogany with a rosewood fingerboard with inlay dots. There is no cutaway, and so the neck allows 14 frets that are comfortably playable. There is also a Rosewood bridge with advantage bridge pins. At the headstock, there are enclosed chrome machine heads. The nut and saddle are made from Ivorex.
Ibanez has used some good materials, and they have come up with a nice sounding guitar. Take away all the extras, and this would still be a good price for the guitar alone. It is crisp and clear with a nice resonance and is plenty loud enough.
Our only concern is the size of the body. Whilst it is clearly aimed at the starter market, the size of the Dreadnought might be a problem for very young players to get to grips with. With that in mind, for the very young, it might be better as a second guitar, once they have grown a bit and mastered the basics.
Good value, however, and a well-built instrument. And must be considered as one of the best cheap acoustic guitars under $200.
7 Rogue RA-090 Dreadnought Acoustic
Rogue guitars have been around for nearly twenty years now and continue to produce cost-effective instruments. They lay no claim to fame or have any delusions of grandeur. They are going to make guitars as cheaply as they possibly can, but still try and produce a decent instrument, for young players to get started on.
Whilst the materials used are not the most expensive or the best we have to say we quite like the look of this guitar visually. There is just something about it, which is appealing.
It has the Dreadnought body that is made from laminated Whitewood, back, sides and top and the neck are made from nato with a maple fingerboard. The neck is fitted with an adjustable truss rod. The body has a black pickguard, and there is a nice decoration around the sound hole.
In other fittings, it has some very basic nickel tuners and plastic nut and saddle.
We can see then that it is built on a tight budget and has no frills at all. Is there anything we can say to recommend it? Just one thing. It sounds pretty good.
In fact, it sounds surprisingly good. Of course, it won’t compete with the more expensive instruments, but when you pay this price, you won’t be expecting much. But with this guitar, you will get a lot more than you are expecting.
It might be cheaply built and have one or two quality control issues, but the sound is good, and it plays quite nicely.
Good value if you keep your aspirations modest.
8 Washburn WD100DL Dreadnought
If you want some Washburn quality at a competitive price, then here it is. Most people know Washburn for producing guitars on many levels, but one thing that can be said about them, is when they get it right, then it is right. They are not considered as high end as some manufacturers, but there are a lot of people that like them.
This is a guitar aimed at the starter market and has been put together very well. The basic dreadnought size the back and sides are constructed from Mahogany as is the top. Mahogany is a wood that creates a warm tone with a lot of deep end resonance, and therefore suits the Dreadnought size if you prefer a deeper, rounder sound.
The body has a nice white binding that complements the mahogany color, and there is an attractive decoration around the sound hole and a black pickguard.
The neck is also made from Mahogany in a comfortable ‘C’ shape, and it has a Rosewood fingerboard. It has a full-size scale length of 25.5 inches with a total of 20 frets. No cutaway, though, and so it will play comfortably to about fret 14.
It has a Rosewood bridge and some die-cast gold plated tuners at the headstock. The nut and saddle are made from hard plastic.
It is a well put together instrument with some nice features and plays very well. The sound is rich and warm, and it has a pleasing look to it.
For the price, very good value for money.
So, What Are The Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars Under $200?
When you have a closer look at what is available for under $200, it is really rather surprising. There are some nice instruments; well put together with good materials from some quality manufacturers.
There is, however, one guitar that is over budget and we have included that because that also represents amazing value for a first 12-string.
All of them are worth considering although we do worry about the Dreadnought size being rather large for a smaller player just starting out.
However, we have chosen, as our best cheap acoustic guitars under $200, the…
It has a really nice sound, is constructed using some great materials, and at a very attractive price.
Easily one of the best cheap guitars for beginners. And our choice for the best cheap acoustic guitars under $200.